NEW Insight Bite: Skyscanner bulks up its social connections with Twizoo and Trip.com

Skyscanner, the travel search engine, has acquired Twizoo, a small London startup that helps companies pull social content to add to their platforms.

Skyscanner CTO Bryan Dove said the rationale behind the deal was to provide users with more information as they choose and book flights and hotels:

“Twizoo’s technology surfaces customer opinions from social media, providing real value to traveller decision making.”

The deal value has not been disclosed, but Twizoo has raised $2 million in funding and is backed by EC1 Capital, Downing Ventures and Jensons EIS Fund. Skyscanner itself was acquired for $1.7 billion last year by Ctrip, a Chinese travel company. In November, Ctrip acquired Trip.com, a travel discovery and recommendations app whose content is also intended to be merged into the Skyscanner platform.

As Airbnb recently announced its intent to become an “experience” engine, this news suggests that Skyscanner is also hard at work expanding its offerings. Airbnb wants to not just match people with places to stay, but also offer hosts and guests additional help on what to do at their destinations such as tours and events. Providing just the flight or the bed isn’t enough anymore, it seems – companies are looking to plug themselves far more deeply into the travel experience.

The Skyscanner deals also show that social sits at the centre of this effort. Like we noted in a recent Bite Size report, Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is starting to make sense now that Outlook has been infused with social links. We said we wouldn’t be surprised to see more deals looking to shorten the path between email, social, and the rest of the web – and we didn’t have to wait long.

We think the Skyscanner deal could be the beginning of a bigger M&A trend of businesses across numerous industries looking for social-enabling companies to enrich their offerings.

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