The five angel investors who rule the world of travel startups
Sam Shank, Brad Gerstner, Hugh Crean, Erik Blachford and Rich Barton make up what you might call a Fab Five group of angel investors in travel.
Erik Blachford, a former CEO of Expedia, was traveling to Seattle for a board meeting of Zillow, the real estate marketplace co-founded by his good friend Rich Barton, who founded Expedia for Microsoft and was the online travel agency’s first CEO. Blachford, a Zillow investor, booked his hotel stay through Sam Shank’s Hotel Tonight, and wanted to have some fun with his entrepreneurial and investor buddies.
“I then used Room 77 [founded by Brad Gerstner] to get a bead on the relative quality of my room in hopes of giving Sam a hard time, but of course it turned out to be just fine,” Blachford says.
Blachford, Barton, Gerstner, Shank and Hugh Crean, the former CEO of Farecast, make up what you might call a Fab Five group of angel investors in travel. You see their names pop up a lot in launch announcements: They invest at times in each others’ companies, and their investments in other companies frequently overlap.