This year, the surge in vacation rental mergers and acquisitions hasn’t gone unnoticed. As our industry grows and matures, the natural consolidation of property management companies is underway. As is the entrance of new players in the market, like hotel chains partnering with or acquiring short-term rental businesses. Vacation rental technology companies are also going through mergers and acquisitions which serve to expand market share, increase global reach and respond to new market demands.
Here are the top 7 M&As in the short-term rental industry over the last few months.
1. GuestReady acquires BnBLord
This April, Europe saw an ambitious vacation rental rollup when Switzerland-based vacation rental management company GuestReady acquired its Parisian counterpart BnBLord. GuestReady did not disclose the amount.
The acquisition served to expand GuestReady’s portfolio to over 2,000 properties and launch the startup towards becoming Europe’s largest vacation rental provider.
The company started its growth via acquisitions in 2018 when it took over the portfolio of Portuguese property manager Oporto City Flats and Paris-based We Stay.
2. OYO Rooms acquires @Leisure Group
Indian budget hotel booking startup OYO has invested €360 million in its vacation rental business with the acquisition of Amsterdam-based @Leisure Group.
@Leisure Group has more than 30,000 professionally managed properties in Europe now taken over by OYO, under the new brand OYO Vacation Homes.
OYO’s break into the European accommodation market may signal the first of many steps that the company will take to seize opportunities outside of its home market. The company has also made its first US purchase, buying Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. OYO is reported to manage more rooms in China than in its basecamp, India.
Founded in 2013 and valued at $10 billion, OYO is the world’s third-largest chain of hotels, managed vacation rental properties and workspaces.
Keep an eye on them: they’re moving quickly and rapidly expanding globally!
3. Airbnb acquires HotelTonight
As the industry matures and the lines between hotels and vacation rentals blur, it’s not just hotels that are moving into vacation rentals – the opposite tendency can also be observed.
In May 2019, Airbnb made its biggest purchase to date. The vacation rental giant dived headfirst into the hotel space by acquiring HotelTonight, a last-minute boutique hotel booking platform.
Reportedly, Airbnb spent over $400 million on the deal, however, the company has not confirmed the amount.
Airbnb’s intention to cover more ground is clear. The company is casting its net wider and wider, fishing for new sources of revenue to add to its core business – a strategy that started with adding Experiences to Airbnb’s offerings.
This acquisition signals Airbnb’s move towards becoming a global conglomerate as it gears up for an imminent IPO.
4. Altido is created through a merger
Earlier this year, a new vacation rental brand Altido brand was created from the merger of four leading European short-term rental property management companies: UK-based BnbBuddy and The London Residents Club, Hintown in Italy and RentExperience in Portugal.
Altido brings together the marketing, management and operations of over 1,700 properties across 21 European destinations. Its portfolio includes a diverse range of distinctive private rentals, serviced apartments, apart-hotels and guesthouses.
This merger shows that property managers see an opportunity in joining forces and taking a bigger bite of the market together. As the European market further consolidates, independent property managers will face new challenges in their effort to compete with large companies pooling their resources together.
5. GSV initiates VR technology rollup
Vacation rental technology companies are not exempt from the pressure to unite assets and grow as quickly and steadily as possible.
Tennessee-based private equity firm Greater Sum Ventures (GSV) has initiated the biggest rollup of tech companies to date, acquiring companies like Streamline Vacation Rental Software, Bizcor, Bluetent, Rental Guardian, Virtual Resort Manager (VRM), and LiveRez one after the other.
According to VRMIntel, GSV plans to sell off the new technology group in under a year. Many property managers have voiced their concern about how this deal will affect innovation in the involved technology companies.
The property management company iTrip was also added to the Vacation Brands group next to the software, web development and marketing companies.
6. Vacasa acquires Wyndham Vacation Rentals
Making waves in vacation rental mergers and acquisitions this year, Vacasa, one of the world’s largest vacation rental management companies, has acquired Wyndham Vacation Rentals from Wyndham Destinations for $162 million.
The acquisition, announced this July, doubles Vacasa’s inventory to more than 23,000 homes, making them the largest property management service provider in North America by revenue. The transaction is set to close this fall.
Wyndham Destinations decided to sell its vacation rental business in order to focus on its vacation ownership and exchange, or timeshare business.
The deal is a huge step for Vacasa, a company that we’re convinced we’ll hear more about in the future.
7. Expedia Group acquires CanadaStays
After nearly four years of strategic partnership, Expedia has fully acquired vacation rental marketplace CanadaStays in order to strengthen the company’s presence in Canada. The amount remains undisclosed and CanadaStays will be added to the VRBO marketplace.
Founded in 2008, CanadaStays and has the largest inventory of Canadian properties in the world.
Expedia has been growing incessantly in the past couple of years: they also acquired VC-backed startups Pillow and ApartmentJet in the fall of 2018. Financial details were not released in this case, either.
Expedia’s first impressive move to gain ground in the short-term rental space was the acquisition of HomeAway in 2015.
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