Amsterdam, the Netherlands: TripAdvisor may be a big name in the US, its home country, where it was among the first websites to consolidate its popularity by offering users the possibility to generate content on travel related issues, but in Europe, it still needs to make a stand. Without a doubt, a lot of US travelers choose to consult TripAdvisor on their travel choices, since there is so much user generated content on hotels, restaurants, sights and more that they would be hard pressed to find no information on what they are looking for. Nonetheless, TripAdvisor needs to up its game, and to do so, it has just acquired IENS, the well known Dutch restaurant review site. What is even more important for TripAdvisor, IENS comes in the same package with SeatMe.nl, a website dedicated to booking reservations at restaurants.
The largest travel website in the world securing its position in Europe
TripAdvisor is considered to be the absolute leader on the online market for travel websites, with 60 million registered members and over 170 million comments and reviews generated by users. 25 different travel brands are operating under the same umbrella of TripAdvisor Media Group. An important media giant at home, it operates globally, being present in many European countries, like the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, as well as countries from other continents, like Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and many, many others.
The recent acquisition can be considered one in a chain of projected purchases for the US company. Just last year, TripAdvisor acquired LaFourchette, the well established leader on the market for restaurant related apps, in France and Spain.
What is IENS?
The importance of IENS is what really drove TripAdvisor to make this move. Founded in 1998, by Iens Boswijk, IENS is considered to be the biggest website for restaurants in the Netherlands. Featuring 20,000 restaurants, and 20 million unique visitors yearly, the review site is, without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with. Around 4,000 reviews are added each week, and IENS looks to be thriving on user generated content, just like TripAdvisor.
It was not just the potential of adding more reviews from users that motivated TripAdvisor to make the acquisition. In 2012, IENS merged with SeatMe.nl, a website featuring over 1,500 bookable restaurants from the Netherlands. While IENS brings the valued user generated content, SeatMe also brings in the possibility for users to book seats at their favorite restaurants.
About the acquisition
Rumor has it that the deal was signed for about 11 million Euros, although no official statement was made on the subject. Seeing that IENS and SeatMe.nl together are expected to generate around 6-7 million Euros in 2015, one can easily say that TripAdvisor hit the jackpot with an acquisition that is expected to start generating profit from the second year.
TripAdvisor does not intend to get too involved in how the two brands are operated either. Their headquarters will still be in Amsterdam and no important changes are expected.