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Reference no. 818-0011-1
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Philipp Veit (HHL gGmbH); Sabina Pielken (HHL gGmbH); Stephan Stubner (HHL gGmbH)
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23 pages
Data source:
Field research


trivago is a leading travel meta-portal with EUR 754 million in revenue and a double-digit profit margin in 2016. Since its inception in 2004 and especially since 2009, the company’s founders have realized impressive growth rates with revenue doubling nearly every year. As of 2016, the company had more than 1,200 employees and offered access to more than 1.3 million hotels in 190 countries. At the end of 2016, trivago carried out an IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange. For trivago’s founders, the goal of not 'becoming corporate' had been a core premise for building the company. The task had been easy when trivago was still a small start-up, but its rapid growth made preserving the company’s entrepreneurial capacity an increasingly challenging task: Would trivago be able to remain the entrepreneurial, driven company the founders had built and loved? The case targets MS, MA, and MBA students studying strategy, organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, and innovation management. It is also appropriate for discussions in executive-education programs (eg, lectures focused on corporate transformation and drivers of change).


Sustainable entrepreneurship; Organizational design; Organizational scaling; Entrepreneurial management; Entrepreneurial culture; Corporate entrepreneurship; Execution
trivago revenue 2016: EUR 754 million; trivago employees 2016: more than 1,200; Market size: USD 415bn (global hotel-booking market)
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