Viator, one of many largest on-line tours-and-activities reserving businesses, stated as we speak that it has been acquired by TripAdvisor, the user-reviews large, for about $200 million — largely in money.
Since its founding in 1995, Viator (pronounced VEYE-a-tor) has disclosed fundraising of about $11.1 million.
The San Francisco-based firm’s largest exterior shareholder is personal fairness agency Carlyle Enterprise Companions. One other prime investor is Know-how Enterprise Companions.
Dipping a toe into excursions
It was solely yesterday that CEO Steve Kaufer instructed TripAdvisor analysts on a second quarter convention name that his firm’s subsequent transfer was the excursions and actions market.
The acquisition was presaged by the announcement in 2013 of a partnership between the businesses over a reserving integration.
Provided that Viator has standing as a heavyweight in its sector, it appears prone to have gone for the next worth than any of the opposite corporations that TripAdvisor has acquired up to now.
Previously 12 months, TripAdvisor has rolled up a number of corporations, together with La Fourchette, a restaurant cellular reserving web site (that is sort of a French OpenTable); Tripbod (i.e. Protected Planet), a B2C native companies web site; Trip Dwelling Leases, a B2B platform; and Oyster.com, a lodges assessment web site with skilled photographs of a curated number of properties.
Forward of rivals
Viator has a number of rivals, together with most prominently GetYourGuide, which has raised $20.5 million, and tours-and-activities aggregator Peek — which has raised $6.9 million.
Viator stands out for its “curation mannequin,” say analysts. For every location, it lists a handful of excursions and actions, not like its main rival GetYourGuide, which takes a full market view — itemizing nearly any tour or exercise accessible.
Peek takes the same method, although it not too long ago added a business-to-business providing.
Provided that Viator has a “curation mannequin’, that doesn’t jibe with TripAdvisor’s all-things-to-all individuals mannequin. This will likely imply that the user-review large must make further strikes within the house as a stepping stone to its personal direct listings of excursions and actions.
Viator is a number one vendor of excursions on-line, with 20,000 choices, from strolling excursions to whale-watching journeys.
Whereas it says it has 1,000 locations throughout greater than 160 international locations, it has centered its advertising and marketing efforts on the USA, the UK, and Australia (the place it was born).
The corporate does not disclose income, but it surely does say that it receives eight million guests to its web site every month. It claims that its apps for Apple and Android units have been downloaded greater than 1 million occasions.
The corporate has beforehand stated that its search engine advertising and marketing techniques have ensured that it’s on the prime of Google search outcomes for a lot of related queries — a key supply of its buyer referrals.
Referrals from greater than 3,000 associates are additionally essential, together with ones from 17 on-line journey businesses, 18 resort manufacturers, and 33 airways, in response to an organization presentation given this previous winter.
Direct advertising and marketing efforts embrace greater than 700,000 “opt-in” subscribers to its e-mail e-newsletter.
Viator has aimed to enhance on-demand availability for patrons, particularly ones who’re already at a vacation spot and doing searches on a pill or smartphone. Earlier this yr, it instructed Tnooz that 80% of its product line is bookable inside 24 hours, 90% bookable inside 48 hours.
The excursions and actions sector in Europe alone is 545 million prospects per yr, attaining gross bookings within the area of 37 billion euro, in response to a spring 2014 launched research by PhoCusWright, a market analysis agency.
Viator, which has greater than 250 workers worldwide, has to work each to construct up its provide — by serving to tour operators, a lot of whom usually are not technologically savvy, to “go digital.”
It additionally has to work on the “demand” facet, explaining to vacationers worldwide that excursions and actions will be booked on-line prematurely of a visit. Most vacationers are accustomed to reserving these items on the fly, in particular person.
The acquisition is a feather within the cap of Barrie Seidenberg, who has been CEO for the previous 9 years.
However it’s additionally a coup for Scott Halstead, who has been Viator’s chief monetary officer for 4 years. Previous to this position, Halstead helped increase greater than $185 million in private and non-private fairness and debt for startups exterior of the journey sector.
TripAdvisor’s entry into excursions and actions is an indication TripAdvisor desires to dwell as much as its identify and canopy your complete journey.
YESTERDAYTripAdvisor misses estimates, and its name incorporates clues to weak point