Expedia Acquires Two Short-Term Rental Software Companies, Will Work With Airbnb
The travel booking website has acquired two startups that facilitate the listing and management of short-term rentals in multifamily buildings, Skift reports. San Francisco-based Pillow and Chicago-based ApartmentJet recently raised $16M and $1.2M in funding, respectively, and all employees of both companies will make the move to Expedia, according to Skift.
Both startups provide software tools to owners of multifamily buildings to help monitor short-term rentals. Pillow allows landlords to track which units have been listed on home-sharing sites such as Airbnb and assists with complying with local regulations. ApartmentJet provides a method for landlords to list vacant units themselves for short-term rentals as an alternate revenue stream.
The two startups have experimented with multiple pricing models, including some that gave percentage commissions to both the service and landlords. As business-facing services, both Pillow and ApartmentJet work with Airbnb and its competitors, a practice which Expedia told Skift it plans to encourage going forward.
Home-sharing and short-term rentals continue to be fertile ground for startups and investors, as these acquisitions come on the heels of news that Domio, which plans to build hotels that resemble short-term rental apartments, raised $12M in Series A funding. Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom said he has no plans to enter the property management business himself, in contrast with Airbnb's Niido initiative to partner with landlords for apartment buildings optimized for home-sharing.