Kayak is one of the longer-standing online travel businesses.

Co-founder Steve Hafner has run the company since its launch in 2004 and through its acquisition by Booking Holdings in 2013.

He has seen startups come and go, funding highs and lows and economic ups and downs in his 18 years at the helm.

In a fast-paced session at the Phocuswright Conference, Executive Interview: Disrupting Disruption, Hafner explains that what keeps him engaged is the need to solve the core problem of making travel and dining better.

He also discusses funding trends with thoughts on what the investment community should and should not invest in, highlighting “questionable startups” with no clearly defined business plans and blockchain as areas to avoid.

Among other topics including loyalty and the early days of Kayak, Hafner also touches on the company’s foray into the hotel operations business, through its partnership with Life House.

He describes the hotel business as “difficult, people intensive and capital intensive” adding that the company is unlikely to do more branded like properties but does want to integrate its technology stack with that of Life House to create something compelling for independent hotels.

Watch the full interview with Phocuswright research founder and senior analyst Lorraine Sileo.

Read the full article at Phocuswire

Online Travel Agencies (OTA) Innovation