KAYAK, the travel search engine, was founded in 2004 and acquired by The Priceline Group in 2012. KAYAK’s main HQ is located in Stamford (Connecticut, USA) and its Tech HQ is placed in Concord (Massachusetts, USA). In Europe, the EU HQ is based in Zurich, the Business Office is in London and Tech Centers are in Kaunas and Berlin.
VentureVillage was invited to take a look at the office and talked to James ‘Jimmy’ Cliff, Director of Internationalization, about Berlin as a place for KAYAK, startups and international companies.
The spacious 1,600 sq m office opened in November 2013. The overall 8 teams (60 people) from 30 different nationalities are focussing on the company’s growth and international expansion.
Besides the fact that Berlin is still quite affordable, he says that Berlin is unique in a social, historical, geographical, political and in almost any other way you can describe a city, he added. That, and the relatively low costs of living make the city interesting to international companies and help startups in the early stage.
However, the German bureaucracy is still hard to deal with, KAYAK and its employee as well as many other companies experience.
Cliff and his staff seem to enjoy the diversity the city offers. However, “A beach is missing”, Cliff jokes. And mentions casually the 370 sq m roof terrace.