Vacation Rental M&A and Investment Deals (April-September 2022)
Investment and M&A activity in the vacation rental industry shows no signs of slowing down. Here are some highlights from the past 6 months' major transactions involving property management companies, software providers, OTAs and niche channels.
by Vivien Magyar
September 15, 2022
Despite the challenging fundraising climate of the past few months, capital is steadily flowing toward vacation rental companies that have the “je ne sais quoi” investors look for.
So we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting deals announced in the past 6 months (disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list).
Startups offering flexible apartment-style accommodations were popular among investors, with Frontdesk, Ukio and Mint House each securing funds to fuel their growth.
Fast-growing property management companies such as OYO, Sykes Holiday Cottages and VTrips continued their aggressive expansion through acquisitions, rolling up several smaller operators in their respective target markets.
Revenue management and data intelligence platforms were popular among investors, with PriceLabs, Key Data and Wheelhouse all raising significant funding.
Investors also placed their bet on software solutions that aim to improve the guest experience, with companies like Duve, Hostfully and Touch Stay adding to their funds.
Digital platforms that facilitate and democratise investment in vacation rentals turned the heads of investors, with Here and MYNE Homes both raising funds to develop their co-ownership solutions.
Specialist, niche and regional sales channels picked up investment over the last few months, with companies like GreenGo (sustainable travel), Campspace (outdoor accommodation) and Landfolk (summer houses in Denmark) bagging funds.
Channels like HomeToGo and Despegar are driving regional consolidation in their respective markets.
Frontdesk, a Milwaukee-based property management startup raised $13 million in Series B financing, which brings Frontdesk’s total equity financing to $22 million. The fast-growing startup manages a large collection of over 1,000 units in 150 buildings across the US.
Indian luxury villa rental startup StayVista raised $5m in Series B funding to scale its operations and drive its international expansion across Asia. The company currently manages 500 villas in 50 locations.
Italianway, a property management company based in Milan raised an investment of €2.5 million to grow its network of franchisees. Italianway manages over 3,000 properties in more than 340 destinations in Italy.
Miami-based short-term rental operator CorpHousing Group is set to raise $13.5 million and go public via an IPO. The company currently manages over 600 units in the US and plans to expand internationally to Europe.
Dubai-based luxury vacation rental manager QSTAY raised $6.5 million to fuel its expansion across the Middle East and Europe. The company manages over 200 luxury rentals and plans to triple its unit count by next year.
Ukio, a Barcelona-based apartment rental startup raised €2.5 million in a debt funding round, bringing its total funding to around €11 million. The startup plans to use the funds to expand to new markets across Europe and grow its portfolio of 300 properties.
New York-based flexible accommodation provider Mint House raised a $35 million Series B to accelerate product development and market expansion. Mint House manages 23 apartment buildings in the US and has raised a total of $80 million to date.
Berlin-based tiny house startup Raus raised €2 million in investment to fuel business growth. The startup builds self-sufficient tiny homes and installs them on land owned by farmers.
Mergers and acquisitions
Mexico-based apartment rental company Casai is merging with Brazil-based property manager Nomah. The merger is said to create the largest property management company in Latin America with more than 3,000 units in Brazil and Mexico. Casai has been expanding through a series of acquisitions, having recently acquired property manager Roomin and smart lock provider Loopkey, both Brazilian companies.
OYO, the India-based hospitality giant acquired Danish vacation home management company Bornholmske Feriehuse, adding 730 to OYO Vacation Homes’ European portfolio. This comes just a few months after OYO acquired Direct Booker, a Croatian operator with more than 3,000 vacation rentals. One of the fastest-growing brands in the industry, OYO may delay its plans to go public this year.
Sykes Holiday Cottages, a leading holiday rental management company in the UK, acquired caravan rental platform UKcaravans4hire. This deal adds 6,000 rentals to Sykes’s already large portfolio, bringing its total unit count to more than 22,500. Earlier this year, Sykes also acquired Forest Holidays, a company that offers rentals in forest locations across the UK.
Continuing its acquisition spree of the past few years, Florida-based property manager VTrips rolled up another four rental companies: Carolina Retreats, Silver Sands Vacation Rentals, Tybee Vacation Rentals and Miss Kitty’s Fishing Getaways. This latest round of acquisitions adds more than 1,200 properties to the VTrips portfolio, bringing its total unit count to 7,000. Earlier this year, VTrips also acquired Southern Vacation Rentals, a property manager with 1,120 properties.
Finland-based apartment rental company Bob W acquired Estonia-based Estonishing Stay, expanding its European portfolio. Bob W manages tech-enabled apartments in Finland, UK, and Spain and is planning to expand to the Netherlands and Germany.
Software and proptech companies
Nectar, a startup that provides short-term rental operators with advances on their cashflow, closed a $25 million credit facility. The Atlanta-based company has already provided $3 million to operators in the US.
Fast-growing vacation rental property management system Guesty raised $170 million in a Series E funding round. Guesty will use the funds to scale its global operations, develop innovative solutions for property managers, grow through strategic acquisitions and expand into new business verticals. Guesty’s last funding round was in April 2021 when it secured $50 million in Series D funding.
Vacation rental software TravelNet Solutions secured an undisclosed amount of investment to develop its products, grow its team and make strategic acquisitions. The company aims to become a unicorn (be worth more than $1 billion) in the next ten years.
Revenue management platform PriceLabs raised $30 million to fuel its growth. Shortly after the announcement of its first financing round, PriceLabs acquired short-term rental resource hub Rental ScaleUp to provide customers with educational insights.
Short-term rental data intelligence platform Kay Data raised $5 million in additional funding. The new capital will be used to develop Key Data’s new direct-to-consumer platform, expand its enterprise offering and fuel the company’s international growth.
Here, a shared ownership vacation rental marketplace that allows investors to partially own vacation rentals, raised a $5 million seed round. Here’s goals are to develop its product offering and expand to 20 new destinations.
Triangle.Luxury, part of the Smiling House Group, launched its digital marketplace for investors looking to buy luxury vacation rentals. The platform places the property manager at the centre of investment deals. In just three months, Triangle.Luxury attracted $700 million worth of vacation rental investment.
Holiday rental co-ownership marketplace MYNE Homes secured €23.5 million in seed funding. The funds will be used to develop the startup’s digital solution for joint ownership holiday homes and expand its services (currently only available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) across Europe.
Guest experience platform Duve (formerly Wishbox) raised $10 million in Series A funding to fuel its growth. The company offers a white-labelled guest experience automation platform and currently serves more than 1,000 properties.
Hostfully, a short-term rental property management and digital guidebook solution, raised $4 million in a seed funding round. This brings the startup’s total funding to $7 million. The funds will be used to develop new product features and grow Hostfully’s sales and customer success team.
Vacation rental marketing platform TravelNest raised £3 million in growth capital. The new funds will be used to enter new markets, offer new services and grow TravelNest’s team.
Revenue management platform Wheelhouse raised $16 million in funding, spinning out of its parent company Lyric. The funds will be used to develop Wheelhouse’s revenue management software.
Property management system Amenitiz raised $30 million to expand to new European markets, grow its team and launch a new revenue management product.
Rental technology company Matsuri Technologies raised $16 million in Series C funding to expand its booking platform and check-in app across Japan.
Digital guidebook provider Touch Stay secured £500,000 in seed funding to increase its customer base, grow its team and launch a guest messaging feature.
Short-term rental noise and occupancy monitoring solution Minut raised $14 million in Series B funding.
Glimpse, a platform that enables consumer-facing brands to place products in luxury short-term rentals and resorts, raised $6.2 million in seed funding.
Vacation rental technology startup and optimisation platform Futurestay raised $11 million in Series A funding to drive its growth and fuel its recruitment ambitions.
Mergers and acquisitions
Vacation rental property management system Avantio was acquired by Planet, a hospitality software and payment solutions provider. This deal marks Planet’s move into vacation rentals and an opportunity for Avantio to expand its range of services and features.
Short-term rental data provider AirDNA was acquired by private equity firm Alpine Investors. Until now, AirDNA was fully bootstrapped without financing from external investors. The company plans to use the new funds to develop even more sophisticated data solutions and tools across industries.
Short-term rental data provider Transparent was acquired by OTA Insight, a revenue management and data intelligence tool for the hospitality industry. This deal will allow OTA Insight to expand its tools to new accommodation types.
OTAs and niche channels
Zumper, a rental marketplace based in San Francisco, added $30 million in funding to its Series D round to launch a short-term rental product. With this addition, Zumper aims to become the first real estate marketplace to offer yearly, monthly and nightly rentals.
Eco-friendly booking platform GreenGo raised €1.2 million in its first-ever funding round. GreenGo aims to help hosts and guests reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable trips. The company will use the funds to create a mobile app and fuel the growth of the brand and its community.
Hosting platform Showplace raised $2 million in seed funding to help new hosts design and furnish short-term rentals and build attractive listings. The online platform currently has more than 10,000 short-term rental listings.
Kindred, a members-only homeswap network, secured $7.75 million in seed funding. Members can swap homes directly or earn nights to book stays by offering their homes while they’re away.
Campspace, a booking site for outdoor stays based in the Netherlands, raised €3 million in seed funding and acquired German competitor Pop-Up Camps. The deals will help Campspace accelerate its expansion into Germany.
Gathern, a peer-to-peer vacation rental marketplace based in Saudi Arabia, closed a pre-Series B funding round.
Landfolk, a vacation rental marketplace based in Denmark, closed a pre-seed financing round.
Last-minute booking platform Whimstay raised over $1 million in a crowdfunding campaign.
Mergers and acquisitions
Berlin-based vacation rental metasearch engine HomeToGo made a series of acquisitions. Most recently, HomeToGo acquired SECRA, a German vacation rental technology company. Earlier this year, HomeToGo also rolled up German booking site e-domizil and French booking site AMIVAC. HomeToGo went public in September 2021 via a SPAC merger.
Argentina-based OTA Despegar acquired Brazilian competitor Viajanet. This deal marks the third acquisition of a Brazil-based company by Despegar, furthering the company’s regional consolidation strategy.
UK-based holiday rental marketplace SnapTrip acquired Independent Cottages to expand its UK accommodation portfolio.