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Expedia employees celebrate the company's 20th anniversary.
Expedia employees celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary.

It’s kind of a homecoming, of sorts, for Seattle entrepreneur Rich Barton.

Expedia has acquired Trover, the photo app for travelers that Barton started five years ago with his brother-in-law Jason Karas

Expedia has been on an acquisition spree over the past five years, but this deal stands out because Barton  — a founder and early investor in the Seattle startup — previously served as CEO of Expedia.

“An important part of our job is to inspire travelers,” said an Expedia spokesperson. “One way we do this is by igniting dreams through beautiful pictures of amazing destinations. We are excited to explore the compelling opportunities this partnership presents.”

The Trover app
The Trover app

Trover is a sharing platform and publishing hub for high-quality travel photos, allowing travelers to share photos with friends and family and explore photos of other locations that others have uploaded.

“With over 450 million visitors across its brand websites every month, Expedia can dramatically increase the reach of Trover,” co-founder Jason Karas said in a blog post published Wednesday. “This means your photos will have a much larger impact. Hopefully, many new visitors will see and be inspired by your travels. We’re also betting that some of these visitors will join our community, adding new voices, relationships, and killer images that fuel our passion for adventure.”

Trover is the first company Expedia has acquired since buying HomeAway for a whopping $3.9 billion in December.

Before that deal, the travel behemoth gobbled up Travelocity, Trivago, and Orbitz.

In this case, the deal is likely much smaller, as Trover employed just a handful of employees and the company had struggled to gain mainstream adoption amongst travel enthusiasts. Expedia told GeekWire terms of the deal will not be disclosed and Karas declined to offer additional details.

“We’re super excited about the future of Trover with Expedia on our side,” said Karas in his email.

When Trover launched five years ago, Barton told GeekWire that the app would change how people thought about travel.

“It is a fascinating way to zip around the world, even if you are arm chair traveling,” said Barton at the time.

In May, GeekWire asked Expedia Chairman Barry Diller whether the company’s appetite for acquisitions was sated.

“First of all, I think there’s very little left to acquire that’s relevant to our travel businesses, and also because we’ve got a lot of digestion to do now,” he said. “Look, any time you say it’s over, it’s not over. Anytime you say there’s not opportunity, something will come up and there’s opportunity, and this company is so ambitious that it will pounce on opportunity.”

It looks like Diller’s prediction came true just two months later.

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