Skyscanner, the UK company founded by three college friends in 2003, was sold to Chinese travel company Ctrip under a £ 1.4 billion deal. The acquisition, which is mainly cash, along with some Ctrip shares, marks the next stage of a journey that began as a conversation in a pub in 2001.
The news comes just days after Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £ 400 million in government money to prevent British technology companies from being bought by international rivals. In the fall statement, Hammond describes the money as being « a first step in addressing the long-term problem of our fastest growing technology companies, being taken over by larger companies, rather than growing on a large scale. «
Skyscanner is a travel search engine that allows users to compare prices from hundreds of other travel sites when searching for flights, hotels and rental cars. With over 60 million monthly active users and available in more than 30 languages, Skyscanner is one of the leading online travel brands.
According to Gareth Williams, co-founder and CEO of Skyscanner, the company will remain operationally independent of Ctrip, but will benefit from the new owner’s experience. « Today’s news takes Skyscanner one step closer to our goal of making searching for travel as easy as possible for travelers around the world, «he added in a statement.
Skyscanner, a passionate skier, was founded after Williams found the process of getting flights for ski trips frustrating.