SideStep today announced that it raised $15 million in its Series C round, led by Norwest Venture Partners. Other VCs involved include Trident Capital, Leader Ventures and Saints Capital. To date, SideStep has raised aproximately $32 million. Competitor Kayak has raised $30 million.
Norwest is an investor in Turn (the new CPA ad network), which is led by Jim Barnett. Jim Barnett sits on the board of SideStep. Small world. Also, Norwest is an investor in Yatra, an India based travel search engine, so they know something about the space.
So what does the profitable travel search company need the money for? According to the press release, “SideStep will use the funding to aggressively scale key areas of the business, while growing its leadership position in vertical search and building out its media and user-generated content offerings.”
Since I’m not one for canned answers, I talked to Rob Solomon, CEO of SideStep about his plans. Seems like SideStep has its eye on more acquisitions after its deal with Sam Shank and Travelpost. Rob said “the investment creates new opportunities for us. Before, we didn’t have the valuation or cash to buy. We’ve more than doubled the value of the company.”
Besides acquisitions, SideStep will also invest in international expansion and platforms related to travel planning.
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