Airbnb Competition Heats Up As Venture Capital Floods Vacation Rental Market
Home-sharing mammoth Airbnb may experience newfound competition as venture capitalists pour millions into vacation rental startups.
One Portland-based company in particular just raised $104M in funding this week. Vacasa boasts that it offers customers what Airbnb does not — full-service property management that provides guests with an experience that is as comfortable as a hotel stay with the convenience of a home-sharing stay, Bloomberg reports. The company charges property owners commissions and fees close to 35%. Its rivals typically collect less than 20%.
Founded in 2009, Vacasa has maintained a relatively small footprint since its inception. While the majority of its rental properties are in the Oregon area, it has inventory in 13 countries with aspirations to reach 20 by the end of 2018. This makes the concept a serious contender against Airbnb, Fast Company reports. Other big names in the vacation rental space include HomeAway — recently acquired by Expedia for $3.9B — and VRBO.
Vacasa's Series B funding round was led by Riverwood Capital, NewSpring, Level Equity and Assurant Growth. The private company closed its first venture capital round of $40M more than a year ago, and the latest effort has allegedly doubled Vacasa’s valuation.