Sidestep travel site gets $15M : Round led by Norwest Venture

Sidestep started as a toolbar for travel comparison shopping in 1999 and I was one of the early adopters! They didn’t even have a website: the only way to use them was to install the toolbar and the worst part was that every virus scan would tag their toolbar as a malware.

I stayed with them for several years but stopped using them when they stopped including Southwest’s fares in their comparison shopping. What’s the point of comparison shopping if the one of the major low cost providers is not included in the comparison! Southwest has remained independent from most search engine aggregators, so I am not blaming SideStep for it, just recognizing that SideStep’s usefulness was diminished because of third party constraints. I still use them for car rentals and hotels and thankfully, they now have a decent website.

The new funding of $15M will be used to expand into the European and Asian travel markets, said Rob Solomon, CEO. Currently, the site chiefly serves the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, he said, he plans to expand the infrastructure to support user reviews.

They have raised a total of $39M by now. I am surprised that they are not profitable yet; I understand that they expect to be in black starting the second quarter of 2007.

The major competitors include Kayak and Mobissimo. In the review category, it competes with travel social networking sites like WAYN (which was recently funded with $10M+) and Tripadvisor.

This round was led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). The round participants also include Trident Capital, Leader Ventures, and Saints Capital .

Company: Sidestep
CEO: Rob Solomon
Location: Santa Clara, California
Funding Raised: $39M
Venture Capital Firms: Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). ,Trident Capital, Leader Ventures,and Saints Capital.

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3 Responses to “Sidestep travel site gets $15M : Round led by Norwest Venture”

  1. By vols on Feb 22, 2022 | Reply


    Take also a look to Trabber! a new cool travel search engine. Here is the address:

  2. By Georege Chen on Nov 2, 2021 | Reply

    Hi Sunny,

    Would you help me to find out that the company is profitable right? Because charlei Chen, my brother, has one hundred thousands shares from first funding for company. He want to know how much is a share of this new 15 million dollars funding. Do they plan to go public in future? If yes, please let me know by email or call me on 510-938-1818. I am looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

    Best Regards,
    George Chen

  3. By admin on Nov 3, 2021 | Reply

    It seems that the was in existence in 2000 and then it combined with Currently owns the domain name and points to

    There are some job postings from smartbasket dated circa 2000 but nothing else. There must have been some transaction between smartbasket and sidestep at some point.

    The Fitst step is to contact people at smartbasket (if you know where they are) and then contact sidestep. Sidestep is a Delaware corporation with CA office. You can contact them and inquire the relationship between smartbasket and sidestep.

    If your brother has share certificates of Smartbasket and the weren’t turned in to sidestep, it probably means that the transaction between smartbasket and sidestep did not involve equity exchange.

    Good luck.

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