TripIt was an innovative startup that helps users organize travel. Concur is an entrenched leader in the corporate travel world. Their fates tied together will be a playbook--or a warning--for the current generation of startups.
By Chadwick Matlin, contributor
For the past four years, a small travel startup called TripIt has been quietly rethinking the way we travel. Overwhelmed with separate confirmation codes for your flight, hotel, and rental car? Forward the confirmation emails to TripIt, and it'll aggregate them all in one easy to read schedule. Barraged by more frequent flier accounts than you even realize you signed up for? TripIt will track it, and put it in your pocket through its smartphone app. Finding it hard to keep track of where all your employees are in the field? Have TripIt map them for you. The basic features are free, but as you ask TripIt to organize more of your travel, it's going to ask you for more money. Its Pro service costs $49/year.
For now, the company won't disclose how many people have signed up for that Pro plan—it just says it has millions of users overall. But there were enough of them for TripIt to go and get bought. Concur (CNQR), a firm that handles companies' travel and expense forms, purchased TripIt for as much as $120 million, based on certain triggers tied to the price of the company's stock. It's a sizable buyout for TripIt, which had collected a reported $13 million in funding. And it sounds like very little will change. All of TripIt's employees—nearly 50—will stay on with the company, and TripIt's basic service will remain open to the public.
Within the first minute of my conversation with Rajeev Singh, COO and President of Concur, it was clear why they bought TripIt in the first place. "We've been watching TripIt be a disruptive force in the travel sector for a long time," was the first thing he told me. There's an implicit logic in there: TripIt is disruptive; therefore TripIt is the future; therefore Concur should own TripIt.
A round-up of the companies, deals, and trends that made headlines.
Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We've assembled the day's most newsworthy bits below.
"Americans are somewhat self-absorbed." -- Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on whether U.S. citizens would notice the company's cheaper Canadian pricing. (Gizmodo)Verizon Communications' CEO Ivan Seidenberg announced Verizon Wireless MORE JP Mangalindan, Writer - Sep 24, 2010 7:30 AM ET
Finally, a Powerpoint presentation worth reading
It isn't often that I get convinced to read through a slide deck 128 images long. But after the fourth startup CEO, in this case Jonathan Sposato, CEO of online photo-editing service Picnik brought it to my attention; I sat down to give "Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture" a gander.
The slide deck, which can be found here, contains the distilled thinking of MOREMichael V. Copeland, Senior Writer - Aug 26, 2009 7:27 AM ET
By Michal Lev-Ram
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For years tech-savvy movie buffs had to rely on illegal software to copy DVDs onto computer hard drives. Now a new program from Real Networks (RNWK) aims to make it easy -- and legal -- for anyone to rip their movie collection onto PCs.
Real, a Seattle-based digital media company, unveiled its DVD-copying software Monday at DEMO, a two-day technology conference in San Diego, Calif. The company says its MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Sep 8, 2008 9:31 AM ET
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