Secret Escapes acquires JustBook’s mobile nous for expansion overseas

By Travolution
By Travolution
January 15, 2014 02:46 PM GMT

There’s been more M&A activity in the last-minute hotel booking app sector with London-based Secret Escapes snapping up Berlin-based JustBook.

Last year Groupon bought Madrid-based Blink, another player in an increasingly busy sector that also includes HotelTonight and Hot Hotels.

Secret Escapes, the flash sale site which touts up to 70% off, today announced it has bought 100% of JustBook and this will fuel its expansion into Europe.

Alex Saint, chief executive of Secret Escapes, said: “JustBook is a very exciting acquisition for us in helping to meet our ambition to bring the experience of luxury travel to Europe.

“We are already making great strides in replicating the success of our UK business in Germany, but by joining forces with JustBook we’ll be able to reap the benefits of their in-depth mobile and app knowledge as well as a first-class management and sales team.

“We’ve proven that 90% of the sales we generate for hotels are incremental, and JustBook offers a similar benefit to its suppliers, so we’ve found a natural partner with which to grow in Germany and expand our marketing channels to include mobile and app distribution.

“Our major goal is to substantially increase hotel occupancy rates and reduce the dependency of hotels on the big OTAs.”

Stefan Menden, managing director of JustBook, added: “When Secret Escapes approached us we were extremely excited by the opportunity to merge the successful elements of both companies – Secret Escapes’ travel nous and JustBook’s mobile and app experience – to provide wider choice, knowledge and expertise to our customers.

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

“By combining our propositions – flash sales and last-minute mobile – we’re able to offer hotels and tour operators access to an international userbase and fresh distribution channels.”

Secret Escapes claims a membership base of over four million and year-on-year revenue growth of over 300%.

It was founded in 2011 and has since launched in Sweden and Germany, in spring 2013.

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