To compete directly in the Asia-Pacific region, Nasdaq listed online marketplace for vacation rentals HomeAway has recently acquired similar marketplace, travelmob, for a majority stake of 63% in an all cash deal. The deal followed after the announcement of HomeAway entering into a distribution partnership with travelmob few months back.
Led by CEO Turochas Fuad and CTO Prashant Kirtane, the Singapore based startup, travelmob will continue to operate as an independent brand with remaining 37% stake and a team of 16. HomeAway also plans to incur about $2.0 million in additional expense to further grow the travelmob business. However, the terms and the amount of deal remain undisclosed.
Launched in 2012, Travelmob provides a secure platform for property owners and managers in Asia Pacific to list unique accommodations and experiences, and host global travelers seeking to experience true local hospitality and culture. Currently, it has 14000 rental listings and support 13 currencies in 8 languages.
As per the reports, It has recently raised a seed funding of $1 million from investors such as Jungle Ventures, Accel Partners, Facebook’s Asia-Pacific VP Dan Neary and other private investors around the region.
According to Brian Sharples, CEO HomeAway, over 100 million asian people are being estimated to enter middle class level in coming years. Thus, offering a huge opportunity to built in a base to lead the online vacation rental industry.
“We view Asia as a region where we can build tremendous incremental value for our shareholders and existing customers over the next several years.”, said Brian.
As a part of its plan to enter Asia, in 2011 HomeAway has purchased an Australian holiday rental business from REA Group Limited. Also, HomeAway bought a minority stake in China based, vacation rental company, Tujja. Currently, it is having distribution partnerships with China based Ctrip.com and Singapore based Wego and Tripvillas.
The Austin, Texas based Homeaway is presently operational in countries such as India, UK, US, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil and Australia.
With Players like Airbnb and Rocket internet, the asian market is presently forcing a fierce competition even among the local players. Also, with recent shutdown of Rocket internet based, Airizu in China, and Airbnb being reported to focus more on customer support, the expansion plan of HomeAway is a far higher risk choice.