Kayak.com paddles to IPO

November 18, 2010

Kayak website operator files for IPO
Wed, Nov 17 2010
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The operator of the popular Kayak.com website that aggregates airline, hotel and rental car deals, filed on Wednesday to raise as much as $50 million in an initial public offering.
Kayak Software Corp’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission did not specify the number or price of the shares the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company plans to offer, or when an offering might take place.
The company was started in 2004 by co-founders of other travel websites, including Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity.
While travelers may use Kayak.com for free, the company said it earns revenue from referrals to travel suppliers and online travel agents, as well as from advertising.
Kayak said profit for first nine months of 2010 fell 41 percent from a year earlier to $6.16 million, while revenue increased 48 percent to $128.3 million. The number of user queries in the nine-month period rose 37 percent to more than 469 million.
The company licenses search software from ITA Software Inc and said it may need to find a new provider if Google Inc completes its proposed $700 million takeover of ITA. Kayak and other online travel companies are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to challenge the merger.
As of October 31, Kayak had 140 employees and local websites in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, India, Italy and Spain.
Kayak said major investors including venture capital firms General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Funds and Oak Investment Partners plan to sell shares in the IPO.
Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc are arranging the IPO, Kayak said.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon)