Remember when I said some consolidation might take place in Asia’s short term vacation rental space? Well, it is happening.
HomeAway, a NASDAQ-listed online marketplace for vacation rentals, announced today that it has acquired a majority share in Singapore’s Travelmob, a similar site with Asia-focused inventory, for an undisclosed sum. Travelmob’s management team will retain 37 percent of the business, which will operate as an independent brand from Singapore.
This comes just months after it raised USD 1M from early stage investor Jungle Ventures, US venture capital firm Accel Partners, Facebook’s Asia-Pacific VP Dan Neary and other private investors around the region. The startup was founded about a year ago by CEO Turochas Fuad and CTO Prashant Kirtane. Both were senior Yahoo! executives.
HomeAway will be discussing this acquisition during its second quarter 2013 earnings conference call on 25 July. The company expects to incur a further USD 2M in expenses to grow Travelmob in fiscal year 2013.
The courtship between both companies has been ongoing. This March, they announced a partnership whereby HomeAway users were given access to TravelMob’s inventory of 14,000 accommodations in Asia-Pacific, which range from luxury villas, tatami-mat apartments to houseboats.
Travelmob has a team of 16 and currently supports 13 currencies in eight languages.
HomeAway has been making inroads into Asia since April 2011 by purchasing an Australian holiday rental business from REA Group Limited and launching HomeAway.com.au. Last year, it made a minority investment in Tujia.com, a China-based vacation rental company, in partnership with Ctrip.com, a NASDAQ-listed online travel service provider in China.
The company’s strategy is markedly different from Airbnb, which has opened a Singapore office and has said that it does not plan to acquire local rivals for its regional expansion. It has also revealed a change in international strategy, which has resulted in a slowdown in hiring.
2013 Earnings Conference Call & Webcast Information
The second quarter 2013 HomeAway earnings conference call will take place on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 3:30 p.m. Central Time. To participate in the call, investors should join ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Callers in the United States and Canada should join by dialing (877) 407-0784, passcode 416920. Callers outside the United States and Canada should join by dialing (201) 689-8560, passcode 416920. In addition, a live webcast of the call will be accessible through the Investor Relations section of HomeAway’s website and will be archived online for 60 days upon completion of the conference call.