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Edinburgh tech giant in milestone deal

Skyscanner seals joint venture with Yahoo! Japan to expand in Far East

Gareth WilliamsSkyscanner, the Edinburgh-based flight comparison website, has unveiled a joint venture with Yahoo! Japan, enabling it to expand in the Far East.

The deal brings together Skyscanner’s flight search capabilities with Yahoo! Japan’s position as one of the largest digital media sites and search engines in Japan, serving on average more than 60 billion page views a month.

Japan is the third largest travel market in the world with 2015 bookings estimated to rise to $71 billion (£45bn). The establishment of Skyscanner Japan gives both partners an opportunity to accelerate their growth.

Skyscanner, headquartered at Quartermile, will share information with Yahoo! Japan and power its flight search results. Skyscanner will benefit from Yahoo! Japan’s large and loyal audience, and its experience in the Japanese market. Last year, visitors to Skyscanner in Japan grew by 40%.

Gareth Williams (pictured), co-founder and chief executive of Skyscanner, said: “Skyscanner Japan is a start-up backed by a leading global travel search engine and the biggest search engine in the world’s third biggest travel market. This is great news for travel in Japan and worldwide.

“Our joint venture with Yahoo! JAPAN can only broaden and deepen the benefits we can bring to the consumers we serve.”

Gen Miyazawa, head of media company at Yahoo Japan Corporation, said: “This joint venture gives us a thrilling opportunity to launch a travel service in Japan, together with Skyscanner, a leading global travel search company.

“Yahoo! Japan, as a problem-solving engine, will enhance the travel search experience for Japanese consumers through its search service, powered by Skyscanner.

“What’s more, we hope to meet the demand of an increasing number of inbound travellers to Japan, and improve their satisfaction, through the widely recognised Skyscanner service.”

Skyscanner Japan will run autonomously, supported in a technical and advisory capacity by senior representatives from both Skyscanner and Yahoo! Japan at board level. This support will initially be bolstered by expert secondees from both companies who will work for Skyscanner Japan. The new entity will establish a Tokyo office and hire a chief executive.

Skyscanner, like its Quartermile neighbour FanDuel, is known as a unicorn – a company valued at $1 billion. It recently opened a second office in China. Shenzhen will be the company’s Chinese product and engineering hub. The Beijing office is a base for the marketing and commercial teams. Skyscanner has more than 30 staff in China.

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