Skyscanner is an online travel technology established in 2002 and headquartered in Edinburgh. It has a metasearch engine which enables consumers to research and book travel, including flights, hotels and car hire. Initially, it focused on budget carriers and chartered airlines in Europe. Scottish Equity Partners first invested in Skyscanner in 2007 to help the company extend its reach across all airlines globally, and to diversify into other travel verticals.
What did the business need?
Scottish Equity Partners was the company’s largest shareholder and lead investor, and worked closely with the founders to develop the senior team, including the appointment of a CTO, CFO and COO. Scottish Equity Partners supported the company’s internationalisation through M&A activity and the opening of 10 global offices across the US, Europe and Asia. Scottish Equity Partners also helped the company with its strategic development and growth and led a number of financing events, including investment from Sequoia and Baillie Gifford. Scottish Equity Partners played a lead role in the company’s exit to NASDAQ-listed Trip.com. Skyscanner continues to operate independently within the Trip.com group.
What lasting value did PE/VC investment bring?
Scottish Equity Partners helped the company professionalise its business structure and put in place the foundations for accelerated growth and global expansion. Taking a long-term view, Scottish Equity Partners provided hands-on and practical support to the founders, helping them to develop a strong executive team and high performance board. Scottish Equity Partners encouraged the company to take a long-term view of value creation, which ensured the company achieved real scale and an excellent outcome for its shareholders and stakeholders. Skyscanner is one of the best known travel technology companies in the world.
“Skyscanner’s position as a world leading travel search business would not have been possible without the great support we have had from Scottish Equity Partners. They have been a consistently engaged, informed and astute partner throughout our journey.”
Gareth Williams, Co Founder and former CEO, Skyscanner