HomeAway acquires vacation rental startup travelmob, eyes Asia Pacific market

HomeAway, Inc., a Texas-based online vacation marketplace, has acquired a controlling stake in Singapore-based travelmob Pte Ltd, which owns and operates, a social stay marketplace for vacation rental accommodation.

The firm did not disclose financial details but said it is an all-cash deal where travelmob management will retain 37 per cent stake and will run it independently. It will share more details on the deal at its earnings call next week.

“This partnership enables us to significantly expand our global reach and provide our property owners and managers with the opportunity to market their properties to more travellers worldwide,” said travelmob co-founder and CEO, Turochas Fuad.

Travelmob was founded in 2012 by Fuad and Prashant Kirtane. The company has received early stage investment from Jungle Ventures and Accel Partners besides Dan Neary, vice president at Facebook for Asia-Pac region.

Built on a transaction-based model, travelmob features over 14,000 Asia Pacific rental listings, including luxury villas, urban apartments and houseboats. It includes listings in more than 1,000 tourist destinations in India, including Kerala, Delhi, Mumbai and Goa. The company competes with Oravel and Airbnb, which operates in India through its partnership with Springstar.

Founded in 2005, HomeAway is a leading online marketplace for vacation rentals that has 742,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 171 countries. It was funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures and Trident Capital.

Besides Texas, the company has offices in Colorado, Virginia and New York in the US; it also has offices in England, Germany, Brazil and France. HomeAway has a partnership in India with Tripvillas, which has offices in Gurgaon and Mumbai.

In another deal in the OTA space with similar geographic spread last year, MakeMyTrip acquired Hotel Travel Group (HT Group) for $25 million. The HT Group, under the brand ‘Hotel Travel’, has been operating the website for more than a decade in Southeast Asia, although its booking platform offers hotel reservation across the world. MakeMyTrip followed it up by snapping an effective majority equity interest in Thai hotel aggregator comprising a group of companies known as the ITC Group for $3.2 million. The ITC Group comprises International Tour Center Co Ltd, ITC Bangkok Co Ltd and ITC South Co Ltd.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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