For online travel services, the world is tiny and highly competitive, and consolidating powers through acquisitions is one particular (and brave) solution for staying sound and safe. Here is another example where London-based luxury holiday marketplace Secret Escapes acquires Berlin’s JustBook, a mobile-based booking service catering mainly to business people, to secure its strengths in Europe and grow in mobile.
Taking over 100% of the German startup for an undisclosed amount, Secret Escapes plans to expand further into the German market in the short term and launch in the US before the end of this year.
The British company offers luxury holiday deals around the globe with discounts up to 70%. It says it has now close to 5 million members all together, 4.5 million of which is in the UK alone and 200,000 in Germany. They have opened offices in Sweden and Germany last year.
Established in early 2012, JustBook provides last-minute hotel bookings for business travelers. Launched first on mobile, the startup now offers hotel deals for 120+ cities in Europe and the US both via mobile apps and its website. After the acquisition, JustBook brand will most likely disappear and the team of 25 employees and 3 co-founders will stay on-board. The apps and systems of both platforms will also be merged.
In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Alex Saint, the CEO of Secret Escapes disclosed that they have been talking to JustBook for a while and made the decision very recently in January. He said “We’re able to offer our combined membership great flash sales as well as last-minute hotel bookings, via desktop, tablet or mobile.”
As a coincidence, both companies have raised funding by British Index Ventures before, though from different partners of the VC. Index Ventures invested $15M+ in Secret Escapes and $4.5M+ to JustBook, The latter’s previous investors also include DN Capital, Venista Ventures, RI Digital Ventures and Venture Stars.