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Skyscanner: From Frustration to Innovation a Travel Aggregator Success Story

Skyscanner Overview: The Ultimate Travel Aggregator

Are you looking for a reliable and efficient way to search and compare travel options? Look no further than Skyscanner.

With over 100 million monthly active users, Skyscanner is one of the leading travel aggregators in the world. In this article, we will explore the key features and business model of Skyscanner, as well as how it works.and History

Founded in Scotland in 2001, Skyscanner started as a flight search engine.

Over the years, it has expanded to cover hotels and rental cars. Today, Skyscanner is available in over 30 languages and covers more than 1200 travel partners worldwide.

In 2016, Skyscanner was acquired by Chinese travel giant Ctrip.

Business Model and

Revenue Streams

Skyscanner’s business model revolves around pay-per-click (CPC) and pay-per-action (CPA) models. These models involve charging a fee to travel providers every time a user clicks on their link or completes a booking.

Skyscanner also earns revenue through sponsored placements, which allow travel providers to appear at the top of search results based on a bidding system. In addition, Skyscanner offers a travel API that allows partners to access real-time pricing and availability data.

This allows partners to integrate Skyscanner’s search capabilities directly into their own websites and platforms. Skyscanner also earns referral fees for bookings made through partner websites.

Search and Comparison Functionality

Skyscanner’s search and comparison functionality is what sets it apart from other travel websites. Users can search for flights, hotels, and rental cars by entering their destination and travel dates.

Skyscanner then searches through its vast network of travel providers to find available options. Skyscanner’s metasearch engine compares prices from multiple providers, allowing users to find the best deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars.

The results can be filtered by price, duration, stops, and other factors to help users find the option that best fits their needs.

Partner Integration and Booking Process

Skyscanner partners with a wide range of travel providers, including airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. These providers share pricing and availability data with Skyscanner, which is then used to populate search results on the Skyscanner website and in partner integrations.

When a user chooses to book a travel option on Skyscanner, they are typically redirected to the provider’s website to complete the booking process. Skyscanner may earn a commission or referral fee for any bookings made through its platform or partner integrations.


Skyscanner is the ultimate travel aggregator, providing users with a simple and effective way to search and compare travel options. Its innovative business model and revenue streams have made it a leading player in the travel industry.

By partnering with travel providers and offering a robust travel API, Skyscanner has become a go-to resource for travelers worldwide. Skyscanners Company History: From Frustration to Innovation

Skyscanner is a Scottish-based company that has grown to become a formidable force in the global travel industry.

The company has come a long way since its founding in 2001 by three university friends, Gareth Williams, Barry Smith, and Bonamy Grimes. In this article, we will delve into Skyscanner’s history, exploring its founding and early years, growth and expansion, as well as its revenue streams.

Founding and Early Years

Skyscanner was born out of frustration. In 2001, Gareth Williams switched careers from a computer scientist to the travel industry, where he worked with an online travel agency.

He noticed that the traditional method of searching for flights was tedious and inefficient. That’s when he partnered with his university friends, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes, and decided to build an Excel spreadsheet that would enable travelers to search for cheap flights.

The spreadsheet became an instant hit, and Skyscanner was born. Initially, Skyscanner only focused on flights, but it later expanded to include hotels and rental cars.

The founders had to rely on bartering with different partners to access data to make their website functional. The company bootstrapped its operations for several years, using the profits generated from existing sales to fund the development of new sections of the website.

Growth and Expansion

As Skyscanner gained popularity and its user base grew, the company faced funding challenges. In 2007, the company secured its first funding of 2.5 million from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

The funding was used to expand to new markets, such as India and China. By 2009, Skyscanner became profitable.

Skyscanner’s growth trajectory continued, and the company went on to acquire other businesses such as Zoombu, a site for finding train, bus, and ferry travel, in 2011. Skyscanner also invested in app development, launching its first mobile app in 2011, which has now been downloaded over 100 million times.

One of the main challenges Skyscanner faced was competition. The market was becoming fiercely competitive, with leading players such as Expedia and Kayak posing stiff competition.

However, Skyscanners focus on innovation and simplicity has kept it relevant in the industry.

Revenue Streams

Skyscanner’s primary revenue streams are cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) models used by travel providers such as airlines, car hire operators, and hotels. Companies are charged on a pay-per-click basis when users are redirected to their websites.

The charge is often a percentage of the overall value of the transaction. Skyscanner also earns revenue through sponsored placements, where travel providers can bid for the top spots in search results.

The bids are based on various criteria, such as user search history, location, and time of day. Besides, Skyscanner offers banner ads to travel companies and earns revenue on a cost-per-impression basis.

The banner ads offer companies visibility on Skyscanner, and the charge is often based on the number of views the ad receives.


Skyscanner’s journey from an Excel spreadsheet to a global travel aggregator has been a remarkable one. The company has had its fair share of challenges, with funding and competition posing significant obstacles.

However, Skyscanner’s innovative business model, coupled with the focus on continuous improvement and simplicity, has set it apart from the competition. Skyscanner’s revenue streams, including CPC, CPA, sponsored placements, and banner ads, highlight the company’s diversified approach to monetizing its diverse user base.

Skyscanner Funding, Revenue, and Valuation: A Booming Success Story

Skyscanner has become one of the world’s leading travel aggregators, with over 100 million monthly active users. The company’s success is built on innovative technology, a strong business model, a competitive edge, and smart funding decisions.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Skyscanner’s funding history, investors, as well as revenue and valuation.

Funding History and Investors

Skyscanner’s funding history has been characterized by significant investment from venture capital firms. In 2007, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) invested 2.5 million, followed by a 2.8 million investment from Sequoia Capital in 2013.

Based on SEC filings, Skyscanner has raised over 146.6 million in funding since its inception. Some of the key investors in Skyscanner include Baillie Gifford, Yahoo Japan, Vitruvian Partners, Artemis, and Sequoia Capital.

These investors have enabled Skyscanner to expand into new markets, access new technology, and improve existing systems. In November 2016, Skyscanner was acquired by China’s leading online travel company, Ctrip, for a reported 1.4 billion, which was a staggering 9.5 times Skyscanner’s annual revenue at the time.

The acquisition allowed Skyscanner to tap into Ctrip’s vast user base and resources, thus enabling it to grow more quickly than ever before.

Revenue and Valuation

Skyscanner has always been tight-lipped about its financials, but in 2015, the company’s financials were leaked to the media. The documents revealed that Skyscanner had generated 73 million in revenue in 2014, up from 51.4 million the previous year, representing 42% year-on-year growth.

Furthermore, the company had turned a profit of 12.6 million in 2014, up from 3.8 million in 2013. Even before its acquisition by Ctrip, Skyscanner had a significant valuation due to its growth and profitability.

In early 2016, Skyscanner was valued at 1.12 billion after a 128 million funding round led by Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia. The companys valuation has now soared past $1.6 billion, thanks to its acquisition by Ctrip and global expansion.

The disclosed valuation of the Ctrip-Skyscanner deal was reportedly 1.4 billion. However, the actual purchase price is believed to have been lower, at around 1.3 billion, due to adjustment factors.

This figure represented a significant premium, considering Skyscanner’s financials at the time. Skyscanner’s success is rooted in its ability to innovate and capture revenue streams across the travel industry.

The company has diversified its revenue streams by partnering with a broad range of airlines, hotels, and rental car companies. Its auction-based CPC and CPA models enable partners to generate leads, while its sponsored placements and banner ads provide further revenue opportunities.


Skyscanner’s funding history, investors, revenue, and valuation showcase a remarkable success story. The company has grown steadily over the years, attracting significant investment from venture capitalists.

In 2016, the acquisition by Ctrip was another significant milestone. Skyscanner’s business model has been validated by its profitability and diversification of revenue streams.

Furthermore, Skyscanner has gained a foothold in the global travel market, and the future looks bright for the company. In summary, Skyscanner is a leading travel aggregator that has revolutionized the way travelers search and book travel options.

The company’s founding, growth, revenue streams, funding, and valuation showcase an extraordinary success story. Skyscanner’s ability to innovate and create diversification in revenue streams has set it apart from the competition.

Its auction-based CPC and CPA models enable partners to generate leads, while its sponsored placements and banner ads provide further revenue opportunities. The acquisition by China’s Ctrip has been a significant milestone that has allowed Skyscanner to tap into Ctrip’s vast user base and resources, thus enabling it to grow more quickly than ever before.

Overall, Skyscanner has made travel easier, cheaper, and more accessible to millions of people worldwide. The takeaway from this article is that innovative technology, a strong business model, smart funding decisions, and continuous improvements can drive success in any industry.

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