When Priceline.com acquired Kayak, Boston lost a strong, public tech company headquartered here. But the company’s major payday could be great news for the local start-up ecosystem.
In today’s Globe, Michael Farrrell investigates what happens when tech companies get acquired, and notes that, for cofounder Paul English, this isn’t his first time at success.
Before founding Kayak, English had founded Light Software Corp., which was acquired by Intuit in 1999. A third run at a start-up is not unexpected, particularly given his succesful track record so far.
But even if English or other newly wealthy employees do stick with Kayak, which will be operated largely independently of Priceline.com, the acquisition is still likely good news for local start-ups.
See, for example, David Chang, founder of Where, which was acquired by PayPal. He remains a PayPal executive, helping that company double its local presence, even as he moonlights as an angel investor with his recent windfall.
“By investing, it gives me a little skin in the game,” Chang said. “I look for investments where I know the space and can help in a strategic way — through functional expertise, providing connections, or helping with strategy or fund- raising.”
That kind of help is the sort for which almost any local aspiring entrepreneur, hoping to build the next Kayak or Where, would be grateful stuck around in Boston.