Kayak vets drop another hint about Blade, their stealthy travel startup

Blade co-founders Paul Schwenk, Bill O'Donnell, and Paul English, all of whom previously worked together at Kayak, Intuit, and Interleaf.
Blade co-founders Paul Schwenk, Bill O'Donnell, and Paul English, all of whom previously worked together at Kayak, Intuit, and Interleaf.

Secretive travel-tech startup Blade Travel, headed by Kayak co-founder Paul English, is inching closer to revealing what it’s working on.

In a blog post Monday, Blade co-founder Bill O’Donnell said the company now has about 25 people in its Fort Point office and has been “hiring, designing, and coding for a few months now.”

He added that, despite seeing huge changes in consumer computing devices and Internet connection quality since the dawn of the Internet, “travel web sites today aren’t that different than Travelocity or Expedia from 1997.”

“We think the time is right for something really new and different,” O’Donnell wrote.

If you aren’t a huge fan of the name, don’t worry. “It’s terrible, we know. Don’t worry, it’s not the real name of the business,” O’Donnell wrote. Kayak, he noted, was originally named the much more boring “Travel Search Company.”

Blade was started in mid-2014 by O’Donnell, English, and Paul Schwenk, who all worked together at Kayak. It originally was an investment vehicle for consumer-tech startups, but eventually evolved into a new travel startup of its own.

Kayak went public in July 2012 and was acquired by Priceline that November for $1.8 billion.