Secret Escapes acquires German mobile booking specialist to expand European reach

Purchase of JustBook will add mobile and app technology to flash sales travel site

Members-only flash sales travel site Secret Escapes has announced the acquisition of German mobile booking specialist JustBook, representing a major step forward in its European expansion.

The deal, the exact terms of which were undisclosed, will see the Startups 100-listed company integrate JustBook’s product – a mobile and web platform for users to book ‘exclusive hotel deals’ –  into its own offering.

Founded in 2010 by Alex Saint, Troy Collins and former Young Gun Tom Valentine, Secret Escapes offers a members-only service in which hotels offer empty rooms to customers at heavily discounted rates – prices can be reduced by up to 70%.

Since foundation it has attracted significant venture capital backing, with a seed capital round in April 2011 led by Atlas and Octopus Ventures valuing the fledging company at £10m, followed by a further £8m investment led by Index Ventures in October 2012.

The acquisition of JustBook, another Index Ventures-backed company, will see the 25-strong Secret Escapes team assume control of a new Secret Escapes Germany business, with a view to aggressively expanding its presence in the German luxury travel market.

Alex Saint, co-founder and CEO of Secret Escapes, said in a statement: “This is a very exciting acquisition for us, and our first on the continent – we’re very pleased to be able to integrate a highly innovative company with our own.

“We were already making great strides in replicating the success of our UK business in this market, but by joining forces with the JustBook team, we will be able to reap the benefits of solid mobile and app-savvy tech as well as a first-class management and sales team.”

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Stefan Menden, co-founder and managing director of JustBook, added: “When Secret Escapes approached us, we were very excited by the opportunity.

“We share a common understanding for the importance of an outstanding product, a perfect customer experience and mobile as a disruptive platform.”


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