Fast-Growing Vacasa Raises $103.5M for Vacation Rentals Marketplace
Vacation rental marketplace and management service Vacasa announced a $103.5 million Series B funding round, which the Portland, OR-based company says will help fund continued technology development and expansion to new markets.
Vacasa, co-founded in 2009 by Eric Breon and Cliff Johnson, grew for six years without raising outside capital. Last spring it announced a Series A round that grew to $40 million, led by Level Equity, with participation from Assurant Growth Investing and Riverwood Capital. Riverwood took the lead for the Series B round, announced Tuesday, with participation of prior investors and newcomer NewSpring.
The company manages more than 6,000 vacation rental properties—up from about 3,500 units in April 2016—spread across 17 U.S. states as well as countries in Europe, Central and South America, and South Africa. Vacasa says in a blog post that has grown 70 percent annually since 2009, and aims to become the largest vacation rental management company in the world.
It tries to distinguish itself from competitors including Airbnb, Wyndham Worldwide, and HomeAway’s brands including VRBO and Dwellable with tech-driven services for vacation property owners. These include rental pricing algorithms to maximize income, as well as services to make the rental process—from marketing to cleaning to paying taxes—easier.
The hands-on service of running and managing rental properties requires lots of staff, both to develop Vacasa’s technology platform and to change the linens. The company now counts more than 1,600 employees globally.
Vacasa makes its money by taking a cut of vacation rental revenue, up to 35 percent. Earlier this year, analyst firm Technavio predicted the global vacation rental market would grow 7 percent a year from 2017 to 2021, when it’s expected to be worth nearly $194 billion.