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The analogue of Kayak, Russia’s biggest online travel search engine Aviasales has just gotten an opportunity to grow even bigger. Founded by Konstantin Kalinov, the flight and hotel booking metasearch engine claims to get 4 million unique visitors each month that make 500,000 queries on a daily basis. With $10 million from Russian VC iTech Capital the company plans to maintain the growth pace, as well as further develop its products – Russian travel search engine, International version JetRadar (available on 13 foreign markets), Hotellook hospitality website and affiliate network Travelpayouts.
The pioneer in the flight search space was probably Cheapflights.com launched in England as far as 1996 (I used it frequently). Cheapflights is still around, with Alexa traffic ranking at about the same level as that of Aviasales. A metasearch engine Kayak, on the other hand, was acquired by Priceline for $1,8 billion in 2012. Metasearch engines find best deals across not only airlines, but other travel booking websites. Based on the market intelligence provided by iTech Capital, in Russia Aviasales is reportedly ahead of both Cheapflights (now Momondo Group) and Kayak.
iTech Capital Gleb Davidyuk and Ilya Balandin joined board of directors of Aviasales, but the best part is that the company’s 80-people strong head office is based in … Phuket, Thailand.
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