Even a decade ago, finding and renting a vacation home online wasn’t always a smooth process. It was equally difficult for homeowners to expose their properties to potential guests.
But the experience has improved with better technology — and now one vacation rental management company just raised a giant investment round to tackle what it calls an “enormous” opportunity.
Portland, Oregon-based Vacasa recently announced a $103.5 million Series B round led by new investor Riverwood Capital, with participation from NewSpring and previous investors Level Equity and Assurant Growth Investing. Blooomberg reports that the financing round doubled Vacasa’s valuation, though the company did not disclose terms.
Vacasa bills itself as the “largest U.S. vacation rental management company” and offers various services — marketing, rate optimization, reservations, guest services, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. — to help homeowners earn money off their property. It has more than 6,000 vacation homes listed on its site across 17 U.S. states, Europe, South and Central America, and South Africa. Revenue and total home count has nearly tripled in the past 18 months.
The company is similar to platforms like Airbnb, which is valued at $31 billion, and HomeAway, which was acquired by Expedia for $3.9 billion in 2015.
But Vacasa has a few key differences — namely, it is a “full-service property management company,” helping homeowners manage the entire booking process from start-to-finish. In addition to 400 people working out of offices in Portland and Boise, the company employs 1,200 people across its markets for on-the-ground “field-based roles” — housekeepers, reservations agents, local managers, etc.
“We take care of every home,” Vacasa CEO and co-founder Eric Breon told GeekWire.
Airbnb and HomeAway, meanwhile, facilitate a “sharing economy” or “peer-to-peer” marketplace and handles marketing and booking, while leaving much of the operational work to homeowners.
If Airbnb is more akin to peer-to-peer marketplace like eBay, Breon said his company wants to be like the Amazon of the vacation rental industry.
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