Holidu raises €40m Series C financing
and announces solution for vacation rental owners
Holidu, a leading tech company in the vacation rental industry, announced today that it has closed a €40m Series C funding round. The round was led by Prime Ventures, with participation from coparion and MairDuMont Ventures. All existing investors, including EQT Ventures, Venture Stars, Senovo and business angel Chris Hitchen, also participated in the round.
Holidu was founded in 2014 by Johannes and Michael Siebers following a frustrating experience while booking a vacation rental for a surfing trip to Portugal. The brothers spent hours browsing through dozens of websites to find the right accommodation and realized that some of the rentals were offered on multiple websites for different prices. In addition, booking a rental was difficult because the calendars shown on websites were often not up-to-date. Johannes and Michael decided to solve these problems with technology and took on the mission to finally make the search and booking of vacation rentals easy.
Since then, Holidu has become one of the fastest growing travel companies worldwide. Its search engine is now active in 21 markets and serves more than 10 million visitors per month. With its proprietary image recognition technology, Holidu compares the prices of more than 15 million rental properties across 600 different websites including Airbnb, Booking.com and Homeaway. This enables users to save up to 55% on their booking. Earlier this year, Holidu built on its organic growth by acquiring its Spanish competitor Hundredrooms.
While the fragmentation of the market makes booking vacation rentals difficult for travelers, it also makes the management of rentals difficult for rental owners. Owners need to list their properties on multiple websites to maximize occupancy and struggle to keep calendars synchronized across those sites. This difficulty explains the lack of bookability and high cancellation rates in the market. Staying true to its mission, Holidu developed an independent solution for vacation rental owners under the brand Bookiply.
Bookiply serves vacation rental owners by distributing properties to the largest travel websites, synchronizing calendars, and creating multilingual descriptions as well as professional photos. A team of experts takes over traveler communication and helps owners maximize revenues. Bookiply already manages 5,000 properties and is the market leader in several European leisure destinations. The focus is on property owners who are not yet online or whose digital presence can be optimized. Bookiply is one of Booking.com’s premier connectivity partners and was recently recognized for its product quality.
The new funding will be used to further drive product development, both of the Holidu website and the Bookiply software. In addition, the company will grow its inventory by increasing the portfolio of connected Holidu partners and rapidly ramping up the number of vacation rental owners working with Bookiply. To achieve this, the company also plans to open multiple regional offices.
Johannes Siebers, CEO and co-founder of Holidu, said: “We are thrilled to work with such a strong group of investors including Prime Ventures and EQT Ventures. The funding will accelerate our growth and help us create more unique value for our partners, travelers and vacation rental owners.”
“We believe in the power of technology and data and that by connecting these two, almost any problem can be solved. The vacation rental market is still ten years behind other digital markets so the opportunity is huge,” added Michael Siebers, CTO and co-founder of Holidu.
Nick Kalliagkopoulos, Principal at Prime Ventures, commented: “Holidu has developed products that users love on both sides of the vacation rental market. We were impressed by the technology and customer focus of the team and we are excited to partner with them to further scale the business.”
“Johannes and Michael are ambitious and highly committed founders,” said Kees Koolen, Senior Advisor at EQT Ventures and former CEO and Chairman of Booking.com. “Having supported Holidu along its journey, I’m excited to see the traction the company has made and its future growth plans.”
Arma Partners acted as exclusive financial advisers to Holidu in connection with the Series C financing.
Holidu’s mission is to finally make the search and booking of vacation rentals easy. Its search engine for vacation rentals allows travelers to book the ideal accommodation for the lowest price. The company also helps vacation rental owners multiply their bookings with less work through its software and service solution under the Bookiply brand. The brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers founded Holidu in 2014. The high-growth startup is headquartered in Munich and has local offices in the most attractive travel destinations in Europe. Fore more information, see www.holidu.com and www.bookiply.com.
About Prime Ventures
Prime Ventures is a leading venture capital and growth equity firm focused on investing in high growth European technology companies. The firm leverages its capital, experience and network to actively guide its portfolio to become global category leaders. From its offices in The Netherlands and the UK, the independent partnership manages over 750 million euros in committed capital. For more information, see www.primeventures.com.
About EQT Ventures
EQT Ventures is a multi-stage VC fund with commitments of just over EUR 566 million. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco and Berlin. Fuelled by some of Europe’s most experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with capital and hands on support. EQT Ventures is part of EQT, a leading investment firm with more than EUR 61 billion in raised capital across 29 funds. For more information, see https://eqtventures.com/.