Equity Firm buys TravelClick for $930 million

Chicago private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC will pay $930 million to acquire TravelClick Inc., a cloud-based software company that caters to the hotel industry.

The seller was another private-equity firm, Genstar Capital, which acquired TravelClick in 2007 for an undisclosed price. But people familiar with the matter said Genstar roughly tripled what it paid for hospitality software company, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The New York-based firm has more than 37,000 clients in 150 countries. It has carved out an industry niche in providing forward-looking data on hotel bookings. TravelClick has more than 300 employees in its “go-to-market” organization, and the company expects to have revenue north of $300 million in 2014.

"Our strong working partnership with Genstar and Bain allowed us to significantly invest in our business to drive growth both organically and through two significant acquisitions, which include the purchase of Rubicon and EZYield," said Larry Kutscher, ceo of TravelClick. "By updating our technology, building out our business intelligence offering, implementing a new reservation booking engine, and nearly doubling our sales force, we were able to grow distribution channels and new products."

In an interview, Chief Executive Larry Kutscher said TravelClick had around $300 million in revenue last year and would be “solidly above” that figure in 2014, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Thoma Bravo plans to keep the company's current chief executive Kutscher, and keep expanding the business, which includes 37,000 hotel clients, reported Chicago Crain's Business.

“Larry Kutscher and his team have established an impressive track record of growing TravelClick rapidly and expanding the company's services to its customers,” said Thoma Bravo partner Holden Spaht.

Tech Crunch reported technology investors are increasingly interested in the hotel business these days. Investors have funded travel-related startups in over 40 different countries since 2009, according to CrunchBase data. While the U.S., U.K., and China lead the way in total number of travel investments, emerging markets are seeing their fair share, as well, from Hotel Urbano’s recent $50 million Series D round to seed rounds in Kenya-based SafariDesk and Colombian startup Escapar.