Expedia last night agreed to acquire a majority stake in UK-based global rail distributor SilverRail Technologies for an undisclosed sum.
The deal is due to be finalised by the summer pending approval from the relevant competition authority.
SilverRail was established in 2009 by Aaron Gowell and Will Phillipson with headquarters in London and now has offices in Boston, Stockholm and Brisbane.
Already an Expedia industry partner, the company processes more than 25 million bookings a year, handles one billion online rail searches, distributes tickets for over 35 providers and serves 1,500 corporate customers.
Expedia president and chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said: “Rail is ready for an online revolution, and we’re ready to be a part of it.
“Rail’s shift online is one of the fastest growing areas of innovation in the $1.3 trillion travel market, and SilverRail is powering that innovation.
“We are tremendously excited to welcome the incredibly talented SilverRail team into the Expedia family.”
SilverRail chief executive Gowell added: “The investment by Expedia will make our business bigger, stronger, and faster in executing current commitments and meeting the demand of new business.
“We were looking for an investor and partner that understood our ambitions and was committed for the long term. Expedia is an ideal fit for us, as it sees the huge potential in rail and has a history of keeping its brands nimble.”