TripAdvisor buys trip planning service Wanderfly

User review giant TripAdvisor has made its first acquisition in quite some time, buying New York-based trip planning and content site Wanderfly.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wanderfly first emerged on the scene in mid-2010, founded by Evan Schneyer, Christy Liu and Cezary Pietrzak and initially with a private seed funding from angels it secured the year before.

It later went on to secure $1 million from the Silicon Valley heavyweights such as Jason Calacanis.

Details about how (indeed, if) Wanderfly will be incorporated into the core TripAdvisor service will presumably come in due course, but there is also a very high chance that it will remain as a standalone brand and sit within the Smarter Travel Media network of sites.

Since its launch, Wanderfly has secured a string of partnerships, arguably more than the other social travel startups which emerged around the same time.

It secured a deal with New York Times in October 2011, took on flight and hotel search white labels through Kayak and Expedia respectively, and performed the inevitable integration with Facebook in May 2011.

Perhaps most important, however, and almost inevitably, it eyed the rapid rise of Pinterest late last year and switched to a visual-based inspiration platform in March 2012 – a period in the wider social travel startup world which appeared to also inspire (no pun intended) others such as Gogobot, Trippy et al.

The last major acquisition for TripAdvisor on the social travel side of the business was in February 2011 when it bought mobile travel service EveryTrail, also for an undisclosed fee.

But while some thought the service (a way of recording routes and trips via a mobile, including reviews) would eventually find its way into TripAdvisor, 18 months on and it remains largely a standalone product.

Other brands in the Smarter Travel Media portfolio include AirfareWatchdog, SniqueAway, BookingBuddy and the fledgling Tingo.

TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO, Steve Kaufer, says:

“The Wanderfly team understands the value in social travel planning. They’re a great asset as we continue our developments in this area and I am delighted to welcome them to TripAdvisor.”

Quick off the mark, Gogobot CEO Travis Katz emailed:

“Through its acquisition of Wanderfly, TripAdvisor is looking for a quick fix to building its user base in social travel.

“Gogobot has established that social travel is most effective when you achieve a critical mass of users who are truly connected, which the company has achieved with its more than two million registered users.”

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. The travel startup fallout is here. Will anyone survive? | PandoDaily

    […] with Trippy’s 4000, according to AppData. After Wanderfly’s sale to TripAdvisor, he weighed in to say that TripAdvisor, a billion dollar company, was merely “looking for a quick fix to building […]

  2. Joe Bühler

    Getting acquired by TA solves the main challenge of attracting a large enough user base to make an ad based revenue model possible. With the right integration into other TA properties like Snique Away for instance this could be a winning combination and provide customer benefit.

  3. Charles de Gaspe Beaubien

    A different press release claimed 4 million trips were planned suing Wandrfly. Their traffic doesn’t seem to indicate that is possible.

    I don’t get the social travel opportunity yet, but I look forward to seeing what their well designed platform can do in the hands of Trip Advisor and their traffic.

    Good for the team.

  4. Phil Butler

    Quick fixes being key, movement in this space is revving up. Interesting stuff Kevin. As for the value of social travel planning, it seems to me TA is just trying to keep a form of review alive. If so, this is just the old “finger in the dam” move.


  5. Pete Meyers

    WOAH! Congrats to Evan, Christy, Cezary and the whole Wanderfly squad!


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