Sidestep – Profile
HQ: Santa Clara, CA
Management: Founder/CEO Brian Barth announced in April 2005 that he was stepping down in preparation for an IPO. He was previously founder/CEO of consulting firm DigiTV.
Investors: Sidestep has raised $17M to date from Trident Capital and angel investors.
Business Model: Sidestep operates a meta-search engine for travel. It searches across and aggregates data from Expedia, Orbitz, etc. and pulls in data from hotels and airlines that are not working with those companies. In contrast to those companies, which earn revenues primarily from transactions, Sidestep’s revenues are primarily derived from advertising. This makes the company a more attractive partner to airlines and hotels and to consumers. Sidestep claims more than 3M unique visitors per month. It also claims it has been profitable since 2003.
Competitors: Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Cheapflights, Kayak, Qixo, Yahoo’s Farechase, Mobissimo.
Dirt: There is really nothing to stop Sidestep from becoming a major force in the sector, and we expect them to be able to attract a big hitter as their new CEO. For now, Sidestep gets about a tenth the traffic of the major sites like Expedia, however, the company has started inking traffic deals, including one with Knight-Ridder.