We continued to ramp up our investment in Expedia, Inc. ( EXPE ) , which we initiated in the third quarter. Expedia is the largest global online travel agency in the U.S., and the second largest in the world. The company generates over $60 billion of global bookings and revenues of $6.6 billion. Expedia operates in 75 different countries and has over 18,000 employees globally. Expedia operates over 20 global brands including Expedia, Trivago, Hotels.com, Travelocity, CheapTickets, Wotif, Hotwire, and Venere. The company also recently acquired Orbitz and HomeAway. We believe Expedia is a leading player in a large and secularly growing online travel market where the penetration rate is still relatively low (Priceline Group and Expedia, the two largest players, account for less than 10% of the $1.4 trillion global travel market). Expedia has grown its supply of properties by 73,000 in the last two years (it now has 180,000 compared to 800,000 for Priceline) and improved its user interface leading to better conversion rates. We further believe that Expedia's margins and overall profitability, which have been running at about half those of Priceline, are poised for significant improvement over the next few years.
From Baron Funds' Fifth Avenue Growth Fund fourth quarter 2016 commentary .
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