Kayak.com, the travel search engine, announced the completion of a $196 million financing round. Kayak.com will use this investment to complete a merger with SideStep, Inc. and to pursue a more aggressive worldwide expansion. As part of this transaction, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital will join Kayak.com’s Board of Directors.
Other participants in the financing round include existing Kayak.com investors General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners, SideStep investors Norwest Venture Partners and Trident Capital, new investors Oak Investment Partners and Lehman Brothers Venture Partners, and debt lenders Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital.
In parallel with the new financing, a subsidiary of Kayak.com will merge with SideStep.com, the Internet’s first travel search company. This transaction combines the two biggest brands in travel search, which would make Kayak.com and its affiliate sites the fifth largest travel brand, with more monthly unique visitors than Priceline, every airline except Southwest, and every hotel and rental car brand.
Kayak.com intends to maintain both the SideStep.com and Kayak.com brands and will develop and promote each site independently, with key SideStep.com personnel joining Kayak.com’s team.