by Brian Solis


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially over at SideStep’s offices.

You gotta hand it to TechCrunch. To say they’re connected is a gross under statement.

Michael Arrington is reporting that discount travel site Kayak is acquiring rival SideStep for $196 million.

That’s some Web 1.0 money if I do say so myself.

It’s hard to believe that online travel is hitting 10 years with about 50% off all travel booked online today.

That’s right. Web-based travel services are hotter than Web 2.0 acapella groups and companies withour vowels in their names.

So here’s what I’ve learned.

Kayak just raised $196 million in a new round of financing from Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners. As part of the deal, two of SideStep’s existing investors, Norwest Venture Partners and Trident Capital, and new investors, Oak Investment Partners and Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, are now part of the team. Debt lenders Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital are also part of the arrangement.

In turn, Kayak purchased SideStep for roughly $180 million. SideStep had about $20 million in the bank and it’s reported that the huge chunk of change is funding a very merry Christmas for the team

Watch this space.

Sidestep competitiors Mobissimo and Farecast are worth watching.

On the related travel services front, watch TripIt and Dopplr.

Connect with me on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Plaxo, or Facebook.

About the Author:

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

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