Just a month before Christmas, Sky Scanner was bought for £1.4B by a Chinese travel company. Not bad for a flight comparison engine, started a bit more than 10 years ago by 3 co-founders who were frustrated by the difficulties of finding cheap flights to ski resorts!
Such companies (like Money Supermarket, or USwitch on other sectors) are usually based on a simple "affiliation" business model, built on (relatively simple) technology to fetch quotes from airlines (in the case of Skyscanner), and break-even and thrive when they reach a large audience (often overlooked, but damn hard to get to).
Well, I do have a frustration about travel as well. People are more mobile than ever, and as job opportunities take us all alongside different paths, me and my friends are living in multiple cities/countries. Because for us, it's more about spending the weekend together than going to a specific place (any European city would do, out of a few options we all agree on), our challenge is always to find a date that works for everyone (we use doodle for that), and a place that's cheap FOR ALL OF US to go, from our DIFFERENT starting points.
What we’d love is a website where we’d enter our starting points and a few places where we’d happily go for a long weekend. And that would rank options based on flight prices and convenience.
OK, it's definitively a small niche, and my mind is on travel on this blue monday. But the thing that got me thinking is its potential to grow faster than traditional price comparison engines, in a viral way (as you have bring your group or friends in it). I'll even see this as a Facebook group feature as a potential exit.
So ping me if you want to work on this one.
Speak soon chaps,