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去哪儿缘何牵手百度

Dan Primack 2011年06月28日

中国搜索巨头百度(Baidu)向旅游市场迈出了一大步:上周五百度同意以3.06亿美元收购私人持股的去哪儿(Qunar)多数股股权。因此,上周五早间我电话采访了金沙江创业投资基金(GSR Ventures)董事总经理、去哪儿董事会成员林仁俊。下面是经过编辑的采访记录。

    《财富》:贵公司与去哪儿有怎样的渊源?

    林仁俊:我们是首批投资者,是2006年首轮融资的主投方。一两年后,我们帮助促成了第二轮融资,并与他们合作进行了2009年12月结束的第三轮融资。

    请阐释一下此次百度投资的细节。

    百度将斥资3.06亿美元收购去哪儿多数股股权,但去哪儿将保持独立。除了投资,交易还涉及战略性商业协议,在百度的众多产品中使用去哪儿的服务。

    纵观过去,去哪儿为百度提供旅游搜索结果已有数年。我们同时和谷歌(Google)也有合作。

    过去一些年显然不乏潜在收购意向,但我们都拒绝了,因为我们相信去哪儿有很大发展空间,最好还是保持独立。但经过一些事后,我们逐步得出结论,与百度达成更具战略性和财务性的合作关系,事实上能提升公司的实力,取得成功。

    Fortune: What is your firm's history with Qunar?

    Lim: We were the first investor, leading the Series A round in 2006. Then we helped put together the Series B round a year or two later, and worked with them on the Series C round that closed in December 2009.

    Ok, please explain the deal details.

    Baidu will invest $306 million for a majority share in the company, but Qunar gets to remain independent. In addition to the investment, there will be a strategic commercial agreement to use Qunar services on a number of Baidu offferings.

    For a historical standpoint, Qunar has provided travel search results to Baidu for several years. We were working with Google (GOOG) as well.

    Over the years, there's obviously been interest in a potential acquisition, but we said no because we believed Qunar would be much better as an independent company with a lot of upside. One thing led to another, however, and we eventually concluded that perhaps a more strategic and financial relationship with Baidu would actually enhance the company's ability to succeed.

林仁俊

    此项交易对去哪儿与谷歌目前的关系影响如何?

    我不知道。据我所知,在与百度谈判的过程中从未明确讨论这个问题。

    让我们回到最开始的问题,当初为何决定要达成这项交易?为何不与两大搜索合作伙伴保持财务独立?

    要知道,交易中没有股东出售股票。去哪儿获得了大量现金,金额甚至超过了很多公司的IPO募资规模。管理层保持不变,我也仍在董事会中。

    从宏观层面看,旅游市场非常有意思。Expedia、Priceline (PCLN),甚至携程(Ctrip)等网站都主要采取线下旅行社模式,上网没有对他们的业务经营方式产生根本性的改变。我认为去哪儿有机会极大地改变中国人在网上搜索旅游信息以及消费旅游的方式。与百度的合作将加大这种可能性。这增加了我们尽早取得更大成功的概率。

    去哪儿与你提到的上述公司有何不同?

    旅行社现有的线下业务模式基本上是代购机票或代订酒店,并因此平均收取销售额15%的佣金。

    网上旅游经纪机构的整合效应和规模是分散的线下业务所不能企及的,但流程基本上大同小异。这让一些航空公司和酒店意识到如果通过自有网站提供优惠产品成本更低,速度更快,因为这样可以避开中介费用。但对于消费者而言,分散的网站使得搜索最优惠产品比较困难。

    去哪儿能让用户查看所有网站的所有产品,通过展示广告和点击收费赚钱,不收取佣金。这有点像Kayak在美国的业务模式,但规模要大得多。例如,去哪儿目前承担了中国所有机票预定量的30%左右。

    你提到去哪儿收到过收购要约。有没有来自谷歌的?

    谷歌在中国尚未进行任何收购。

    但它有没有试图收购去哪儿?

    如果谷歌尝试过,可能并没有太深入推进,因为我并不知情。

    How will this deal affect Qunar's current relationship with Google?

    I do not know. It was never explicitly discussed during the Baidu negotiations, as far as I know.

    Let's go back to the decision to do a deal at all. Why not just stay financially independent of both your major search partners?

    Remember, there were no selling shareholders. The company got lots of cash, more than in most IPOs. Management stays in place, and I'm still on the board.

    At a macro level, travel is an extremely interesting space. Online companies like Expedia (EXPE), Priceline (PCLN) and even CTrip (CTRP) are primarily offline agency models that went online without fundamentally changing how they approach the business. I think Qunar has the opportunity to dramatically affect the dynamic of how online travel is researched and consumed in China, and partnering with Baidu in this way makes it more likely. It enhances our chances of becoming more successful faster.

    How does Qunar differ from those companies you mentioned?

    The existing offline business model for travel agency was basically to broker the sale or airline tickets or hotel reservations on behalf of the principals. In exchange, the travel agent would receive, on average, approximately 15% of the top-line.

    The online travel agencies consolidated and reached scale in a way that the dispersed offline businesses couldn't, but it was still basically the same process. This of course led to certain airline and hotel operators realizing it would be faster and cheaper to offer their best deals via their own websites, because they could avoid the broker fee. But, for consumers, this made it difficult to find the best deals.

    Qunar lets users look at all the deals on all of those individual sites, and makes money on display advertising and cost-per-click, instead of on commission. It's kind of like what Kayak is doing in the U.S., but on a much larger scale. For example, Qunar currently is responsible for around 30% of all airline tickets booked in China.

    You mentioned that Qunar had acquisition offers. Was one of them from Google?

    Google has not bought anything in China.

    But did it try to buy Qunar?

    If Google tried, it never got far enough that I was made aware of it.

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