Last month, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman launched Hipmunk, a flight search engine that aims to address the messiness associated with other flight search engines (you can sort search results by "agony" of travel), and this week he brought on board Reddit's other co-founder, Alexis Ohanian. At this rate, they may be shaping up to be the Cheech and Chong of start-ups, except that "high" in this situation would refer to cruising altitude (we think).
"The way the site has taken off, combined with my own love of travel (and loathing of most travel search sites), it was a no brainer," Ohanian told CNET via e-mail. His title will be "principal, marketing...or something funnier if I can come up with it." Hipmunk's team reported that $350,000 was spent through searches on the site in its first week of operation. Ohanian says that one of Hipmunk's early ad buys will likely be, in fact, on Reddit's travel section.
Hipmunk sprang forth from the Y Combinator start-up incubator, the same one which begat Reddit; Huffman co-founded Hipmunk with Adam Goldstein, another Y Combinator regular, and Ohanian remains an advisor (or "ambassador") to the incubator. Ohanian, who recently relocated to New York, continues to run an "uncorporation" called Breadpig and a fledgling investment fund called Das Kapital Capital.
Social news community Reddit, which Huffman and Ohanian sold to Conde Nast in 2006, has been making extra headlines of late, becoming the center of a controversy over marijuana legalization ads as well as a protest on behalf of dissatisfied users of rival social news site Digg.
In spite of early buzz, Hipmunk's ultimate success against significantly bigger travel search sites is by no means a given. It does, however, have a leg up in the cute mascot department.