The kayak market is a fiercely competitive industry, with numerous players vying for the attention of travelers looking to book flights, accommodations, and other travel-related services. While KAYAK is undoubtedly a popular choice, there are several other major competitors that offer similar services. Let’s dive deeper into the world of kayak market players.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, Skyscanner is a major competitor to KAYAK. The platform boasts a massive user base of over 100 million people every month and offers its services in more than 30 languages. Skyscanner’s story began when Gareth Williams, frustrated with the outdated airline booking systems at the time, created a dedicated Excel spreadsheet to track prices across various sites. This innovative approach led to the birth of Skyscanner. Since then, the platform has experienced significant growth, raising close to $200 million in venture funding and being acquired by Chinese travel giant Ctrip for £1.4 billion in 2014.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Booking.com is another major player in the kayak market. Established in 1996 by Geert-Jan Bruinsma, the platform initially focused on addressing the lack of online hotel booking options in Holland. Over the years, Booking.com has expanded to include flights, cars, and activities, becoming one of the world’s largest travel-related sites. With services available in a staggering 43 languages and access to 28 million accommodations, Booking.com is a force to be reckoned with. It is now part of the larger Booking Holdings, which owns sites like KAYAK, OpenTable, RentalCars.com, and Agoda.
In 2011, Google entered the kayak market with its dedicated travel booking platform, Google Travel. Users can search and compare prices for flights, stays, and more, leveraging Google’s vast reach and existing traffic. The company’s acquisition of flight information software firm ITA in 2010 enabled the launch of Hotel Finder and Flights, raising concerns among competitors like KAYAK and Skyscanner. While Google Travel has faced criticism and antitrust concerns, it continues to be a major player in the industry from its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Based in Bellevue, Washington, Expedia is a dominant player in the travel industry. The company owns and operates multiple brands, including the well-known Expedia.com, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. Originally created as a division of Microsoft, Expedia later became an independent company. With partnerships covering over 500 airlines, cruises, and car rental companies, Expedia offers a wide range of travel services. As part of the larger Expedia Group, it generated $8.6 billion in revenue and employs over 22,000 people.
Kiwi, formerly known as skypicker.com, brings a unique approach to the kayak market. Claiming to have proprietary algorithms that uncover the cheapest and best flight options, Kiwi offers innovative features like its Nomad product. Nomad helps travelers save time and money by finding optimal travel combinations for trips to multiple destinations. On top of that, Kiwi sells an impressive 70,000 airline seats daily and has raised substantial funding, including a recent $100 million debt financing round in 2022. Their headquarters are located in Brno, Czech Republic.
As China’s largest travel site, Trip.com Group operates in over 200 countries and offers a wide range of travel services, including accommodations, flights, trains, cars, tours, and activities. With partnerships with more than 480 airlines, their headquarters are in Shanghai, China. Previously known as Ctrip, the company acquired Trip.com and rebranded with the aim of expanding globally. Generating $3.1 billion in annual revenue, Trip.com’s dominance in the Chinese market is well-established.
While primarily recognized as a platform for traveler reviews, TripAdvisor also allows users to book hotels, flights, and vacation rentals directly on the site. The company’s Instant Booking feature, launched in 2014, enables users to make bookings without leaving the platform. With over $900 million in annual revenue and more than 2,500 employees worldwide, TripAdvisor remains a significant player in the kayak market. Its headquarters are located in Needham, Massachusetts.
Hopper, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, is a travel platform known for its mobile apps. It offers features like predicting future travel prices and suggesting the best time to book. Hopper’s search technology claims to save travelers significant amounts on flights and hotels. Additionally, the company has expanded its capabilities by introducing features like “Leave for Any Reason,” which allows customers to leave a hotel and get reimbursed. Valued at $5 billion, Hopper has experienced significant revenue growth in recent years.
Known for its hotel and long-term rental booking services, Agoda has expanded its offerings to include flight deals as well. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Singapore, Agoda initially targeted the growing Southeast Asian travel market. The company aims to become a full-stack travel platform and is now part of Booking Holdings. The larger group owns multiple travel sites, though specific revenue figures for Agoda are not disclosed.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, momondo is a global travel search platform that compares prices for flights, hotels, activities, and car rentals. Acquired by Booking Holdings and integrated into KAYAK’s operations, momondo continues to attract millions of monthly visitors across its country-specific sites. Leveraging its brand recognition, momondo remains a trusted source for reliable travel search services.
Based in New York City, CheapOair is a popular site for booking flights, hotels, and activities in the United States. As a subsidiary of Fareportal, CheapOair has established itself as a leading platform in the kayak market. The company has expanded into various travel sectors and offers customers a dedicated phone line for assistance. While revenue figures are not publicly disclosed, CheapOair continues to be a significant player in the industry.
Founded by Aktarer Zaman in 2013, Skiplagged brings a unique twist to the kayak market. Leveraging the concept of “hidden city” fares, Skiplagged offers travelers unique deals. By booking one-stop flights and disembarking at stopover cities, travelers can find cheaper fares. The company has faced legal battles with airlines over this practice but continues to provide a valuable service. With a young founder who never took external funding, Skiplagged has remained true to its mission. Their headquarters are located in New York City.
These are just a few of the top players in the kayak market. Each one offers unique features and services to cater to the needs of travelers worldwide. Whether you’re in search of flights, accommodations, or other travel-related services, these competitors provide options to suit various preferences and budgets.
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