Luxury Travel Site Secret Escapes Buys Germany’s JustBook To Square Up To Jetsetter And Hotel Tonight
UK-based Secret Escapes, which focuses on luxury travel flash sales, is buying Germany’s JustBook, a mobile-based specialist in bookings in the business travel sector.
Some consolidation afoot in the online travel space: UK-based Secret Escapes, which focuses on luxury travel flash sales, is buying Germany’s JustBook, a mobile-based specialist in bookings in the business travel sector. The companies are not disclosing the financial terms of the deal, but JustBook co-founder and MD Stefan Menden says the cash and shares deal “makes sense for everyone involved.” This is Secret Escapes’ first acquisition.
The merged company will become one of Europe’s bigger purveyors of “discretionary travel” services, and gears Secret Escapes up to launch in the U.S. — a move that will come later in 2014, according to its co-founder and CEO Alex Saint. There, the big competition will be Jetsetter.com, acquired last year by Trip Advisor, Saint tells me. In Europe, he views Voyage Privee in France as a rival.
Both Secret Escapes and JustBook count Index Ventures a common investor, with Secret Escapes having raised between $15 million and $20 million and JustBook around €3 million ($4.5 million). But Menden says that this was more of a coincidental rather than deciding factor for the acquisition. The investments were managed by two different Index partners, both of whom were “supportive” of the deal.