Skyscanner snaps up social content group

Skyscanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams. Picture: Contributed
Skyscanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams. Picture: Contributed
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Travel search giant Skyscanner will bolster its hotel offering after acquiring the London-based content business Twizoo.

The Scots tech titan, which was bought by Chinese tourism group Ctrip last year, said it would make use of Twizoo’s social content integration to bolster hotel reviews and recommendations.

The six-strong Twizoo team, led by founders Madeline Parra and John Talbott, has been incorporated into Skyscanner’s existing workforce of more 900 and will be based at the travel search group’s London office.

Bryan Dove, chief technology officer at Skyscanner, said: “Twizoo’s technology surfaces customer opinions from social media, providing real value to traveller decision making. We’re delighted to have the highly talented Twizoo team join us.”

Parra, who is also the chief executive of Twizoo, added: “Travel is inherently social and we’re excited to work with the Skyscanner team to integrate our technology into their world-class travel search products, giving travellers invaluable insight through user generated content shared on social media.”

Last week, Skyscanner, which is led by chief executive and co-founder Gareth Williams, announced it would launch in-trip content through its parent company’s acquisition of The London-based team has trebled in the past 12 months and accounts for 120 employees.

Twizoo’s previous investors included EC1 Capital, Downing Ventures and Jensons EIS Fund.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh has been singled out as a European tech hub hotspot ahead of an event next week that will bring together some of the nation’s top founders and chief executives.

GP Bullhound, one of Europe’s top investment and advisory firms, highlighted the capital ahead of a discussion centred around one of its latest reports – “Titans of Tech: Europe’s Flagship Companies”.

Next week’s event will examine the opportunities for Scotland’s most promising technology businesses in 2018 and the years ahead.

GP Bullhound’s managing partner, Hugh Campbell, said: “I attended the EIE investor conference in Edinburgh last May and it’s noticeable how the tech scene here has developed since then, highlighted by the Skyscanner exit.”

He added: “At the earlier stage of the investment cycle, it’s still the case that Scotland has one of the most developed and sophisticated angel networks in Europe.”