Airbnb has paved the way for searching and booking short-term accommodations online, and other big travel industry have changed direction to compete with its innovative business model. But what about small startups who also offer services in the short-term rental sector? A number of them in Europe have found a solution: Join forces.
The UK’s BnbBuddy and The London Residents Club, along with both Hintown from Italy and RentExperience from Portugal — all companies that help manage properties that are listed on platforms like Airbnb— have combined to form a new startup called Altido.
Going into the merger, all four were profitable, having all been boostrapped from day one. But Michael Allen, the MD of the BnbBuddy, said that now the combined entity is using its scale and raising outside funding to grow the business. Altido is looking to raise a Series A in the tens of millions of dollars. It is not disclosing its valuation currently although the fact that it already has an international presence and profitability have helped it in this area, Allen said.
The combined company will have about 1,700 properties under management in 21 European destinations, which it will be using as the anchor for an aggressive push both on existing markets as well as other parts of Europe and beyond. There is a long way to go: as a point of comparison, when Guesty — which provides services to manage rentals of private homes on Airbnb and other services — announced $35 million in funding in March, the number of properties managed on its platform had reached 100,000 across 70 countries.
Other competitors will include the platforms themselves where these properties are getting listed: as Airbnb inches to an IPO, it’s adding ever more services and features to its platform to diversify its revenue streams and also bring in more revenues per customer. (As we’ve said before, that could also make Altido and others like it acquisition targets.)
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