Here’s Why Expedia Acquired Rail Service Distributor SilverRail Technologies

by Trefis Team
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While Priceline boasts of its impressive growth rate that is mainly organic, with fewer acquisitions compared to its closest peers, and also about how it is eating into its competitors’ market shares, it seems that Expedia is steadfast with its growth by acquisition strategy and apparently still not bothered about the heavy investments dampening its profitability. As a proof of this, the company has recently agreed to acquire the London-based rail service distributor, SilverRail Technologies. Last year, Expedia had started a distribution partnership with the same company. Though this might be yet another investment for Expedia, the move can also pay off well for Expedia’s long term growth. Let us explore the reasons why:

  • Rail travel is one of the most important modes of transport in Europe and Asia and Expedia’s investment in the online booking sector for rail would imply more innovative offerings. Also, being an early mover in this segment might mean the company gets the advantage of building a loyal customer base and tie ups with the best companies.
  • Currently, SilverRail witnesses over 1 billion online searches for rail and around 25 million bookings, annually. It distributes tickets for more than 35 rail providers and carriers and handles over 1,500 corporate customers globally. According to Expedia’s spokesperson, the acquisition will expand Expedia’s portfolio of offerings and it is in sync with Expedia’s goals of strengthening itself by taking over some of the best names from the travel world.
  • Among the major online travel agencies, besides Expedia, currently only China’s Ctrip deals with rail ticket booking. SilverRail is one of the prominent platforms for connecting rail companies across geographies and acting as distributors. It had been currently looking for an investor to help it grow. Expedia’s acquisition will help the company with its expansion plans.

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