Acquisition

TripAdvisor Acquires Jetsetter for Undisclosed Amount

Gilt says goodbye to its travel site.
TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer (Photo: Thisistravel.co.uk)

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer (Photo: Thisistravel.co.uk)

Jetsetter, the luxury travel site that Gilt Groupe put up for sale for around $50 million back in October, has been acquired by TripAdvisor, according to a press release published to PRNewswire. A Gilt Groupe representative confirmed the acquisition to Betabeat. Skift reported back in March that Jetsetter was close to an acquisition, most likely by the travel reviews site.

“In a short span of time, Jetsetter has emerged as a premier player in the travel space, and we are proud of what the team has accomplished,” Gilt Groupe CEO Michelle Peluso said in the release. “There are strong synergies between Jetsetter and TripAdvisor and we are confident that having Jetsetter be part of the TripAdvisor group will further accelerate its growth.”

A report in the Wall Street Journal in October indicated that Jetsetter was having difficulties finding buyers as it had reportedly set its asking price at $100 million. However, a source close to the situation told Betabeat in October that the listing price was actually $30-50 million.

Jetsetter endured a series of ups and downs prior to Gilt’s decision to put it up for sale. Its founder and former CEO Drew Patterson faced staffer mutiny last May before Gilt Groupe CEO Kevin Ryan asked him to step down. Mr. Ryan attributed Mr. Patterson’s departure to turnover and low staff morale. “More than half of us are looking to leave within the next month, at which point the business won’t be operational,” a Jetsetter employee told Betabeat back in May.

“Too many people have left,” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat after Mr. Patterson stepped down. “When you’re the CEO, you’re responsible for that. We’ve had a lot of communication over the last six months on this issue. At a certain point, for myself, you make a change.”

Meanwhile, TripAdvisor is no stranger to acquiring NYC startups. Back in October, it also acquired Brooklyn travel startup Wanderfly.

Update:

A source within the company tells Betabeat that TripAdvisor took the Jetsetter team out tonight to an open bar at Strand and told them “nothing will change.” The source also said Jetsetter will be moving out of the Gilt offices “soon,” and will keep some sort of relationship with Gilt, though it’s unclear what that will be.

Additional reporting contributed by Nitasha Tiku.

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