HomeToGo has acquired the troubled Recruit-backed holiday home rental platform Tripping for an undisclosed amount of money. The company is part of the larger travel and accommodation space, which has seen growth of corporate-backed deals in recent years.
Germany-based holiday home rental platform HomeToGo acquired its US-based peer Tripping for an undisclosed sum giving exit to human resources firm Recruit Holdings. The latter had first backed the company in 2014, when its Japan-based subsidiary RGIP was launched.
Tripping had raised over $50m in funding but sold as a distressed asset. While the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Industry analysts estimated the amount was likely at least €25m ($28m), according to Skift.com. Tripping’s latest reported round, sized at $35m, was a series C round in 2016, which was led by investment firm Princeville Global. The company had reportedly run into trouble earlier this year, after having spent unwisely much of the raised capital on online advertising and marketing. Reports in various media outlets had suggested a conflict on the company’s board of directors between founders and investors. In September, Tripping laid off 15 of its employees, reducing the team to a bare operational minimum.
Founded in 2010, Tripping runs a metasearch engine which enables users to search for and compare holiday homes and short-term rentals listed on third-party websites including HomeAway, Booking.com and TripAdvisor. The company claimed to have indexed more than12 million properties across 100,000 destinations to date and is expected to continue to operate as a separate brand after the acquisition.
Despite the company’s woes, it is interesting to look at what has happened in the broader travel and accommodation space. According to GCV Analytics, both the volume and value of corporate-backed rounds in enterprises from that realm rose substantially from 2013 to 2015 – from 12 deals worth an estimated total of $268m to 44 rounds worth $2.1bn. From that point onward, the number of deals and their total worth have remained relatively stable, standing above 40 transactions and above $2bn per year. The sector of holiday short-term rental has been, undoubtedly, disrupted most severely by businesses like AirBNB that allow home owners to rent out their properties on a short-term basis to visitors and tourists.