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Unexplored to Acquire Premier Online Adventure Travel Company, Adventureseek.

Business Editors/Travel Writers


Acquisition Enhances Unexplored's Network of Specialized Web Sites

and Extends Key Strategic Partnerships

Unexplored, Inc., a leading provider of technology and distribution services to the specialty travel industry, today announced that it will acquire Adventureseek Corporation. As a premier online adventure travel company, Adventureseek adds an important vertical component to Unexplored's rapidly expanding network of specialized web sites, bringing with it valuable travel supplier relationships, top-tier strategic partners and a broad consumer base. In addition, these partners and customers of Adventureseek will gain access to Unexplored's industry-leading Resort Automation(TM) technology for booking complex travel itineraries.

"Adventureseek has a very strong and experienced team with extensive strategic relationships in the travel industry that can be leveraged across our entire range of specialized online marketplaces," said Unexplored president John Gordon. "This team brings critical alliances and experience that will further the success of the entire Unexplored business as we continue to pursue our mission to build a comprehensive network of specialized travel sites with bookings powered by our proprietary Resort Automation technology."

Adventureseek's relationships with more than 450 best-of-class adventure travel providers, such as Abercrombie & Kent and Backroads, create access to a valuable new distribution channel for Unexplored's Resort Automation technology, a cutting-edge software that allows complex travel arrangements to be booked over the phone. Resort Automation is ideally suited to creating and booking the complex itineraries required by Adventureseek customers. By leveraging Adventureseek's exclusive partnership with REI, the largest retail and online merchant of outdoor gear and clothing, Unexplored also gains the ability to add e-commerce functionality across its range of consumer sites.

"We are already seeing a considerable amount of consolidation in the online leisure travel industry and, with this strategic move, Adventureseek is proactively allying with a frontrunner in the space," said Adventureseek's chief executive officer, Pete Wheelan. "With innovative booking technology, diverse online services and an ever-expanding distribution channel of strategic partnerships -- now augmented by Adventureseek's existing relationships with top-tier travel companies -- Unexplored is poised to take a strong global leadership position in the travel industry."

"It is inevitable that a select group of companies will emerge to shape the online leisure travel sector," noted REI's vice president of online sales, Matt Hyde. "Unexplored's acquisition of Adventureseek is an important step towards consolidating many of the best names in adventure travel, and we're confident that this union will create a dominant force in the industry."


Unexplored serves specialized travel companies that need technology platforms and multi-channel distribution to increase revenues and profitability. Unexplored combines proven technology solutions, for the management of complex travel arrangements, together with a targeted distribution network, and exclusive partnerships with industry leaders.

Unexplored is a privately held company whose investors include Wand Partners, Allen & Company, the Special Opportunity Group Fund and individual investors, including Bill Hambrecht of WR Hambrecht + Co.; Cristina Morgan of Chase H&Q; Tom Hicks and Jack Furst of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst; and Allen Wheat of Credit Suisse First Boston. San Francisco-based Unexplored also has offices in Vermont, London and Johannesburg.

About Adventureseek

Adventureseek is an online guide to the world of adventure. Adventureseek provides interactive tools that are revolutionizing the way travelers connect with travel suppliers and book their ideal adventure vacation. Founded in 1998, Adventureseek has assembled a talented management team from leading technology, marketing, travel, investment banking, consulting and Internet companies. The site,, was recently included on Forbes Best of the Web list.

Adventureseek is a privately held company based in San Francisco. Investors include Baccharis Capital, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI), Westbury Equity Partners, Grove Street Advisors and the partners of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Private investors include Andrew McNally IV, the former chairman and CEO of Rand McNally & Company, and Scott Briggs, the former president of Ziff-Davis Inc.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 20, 2000
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