Managing vacation rental properties is becoming big business. In a landmark funding round for the industry, Portland, Oregon based Vacasa has secured $103.5 million in Series B funding to continue its trajectory toward becoming the largest and most trusted vacation rental management company in the world.
The funding round is being celebrated as the biggest Series B in the history of Oregon, one of the largest-ever in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the top 10 rounds in the U.S. in 2017. The magnitude of money raised represents more than a vote of confidence in Vacasa’s business model; it’s an acknowledgement of a major shift in the hospitality space.
“Modern guests are increasingly opting for private short-term accommodation over hotels, creating record demand for sophisticated services that manage and market vacation rental properties both at home and abroad,” says Vacasa Co-founder and Head of International, Cliff Johnson.
More and more, guests are opting for vacation rentals. Airbnb, a platform for guests to discover accommodations and experiences around the world, is well on its way to 100 million guest stays this year. Last month, the San Francisco-based company launched a suite of tools to attract more vacation homeowners to its platform.
“Guests have spoken and they want vacation rentals,” says Johnson. “And vacation homeowners around the world are realizing just how easy it can be to maximize profits when they have the right partner.”
The short-term accommodations sector is growing twice as fast as the entire travel industry. Worth an estimated $138 billion in 2016, the vacation rental industry is expected to grow to a value of $194 billion by 2021 and investors are taking notice.
The surge in demand for hotel alternatives is one of the reasons why Airbnb was able to raise $112 million in their own Series B, why Google is testing a vacation rentals filter for hotel searches, and why China’s Tujia is now valued at $1.5 billion.
Last month, vacation rentals made their debut at Skift—the largest creative business conference in the global travel industry—when Vacasa Co-founder and CEO Eric Breon took the stage alongside CEOs from Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Delta Airlines.
It’s the dawn of a new age for the vacation rental industry and Vacasa’s guarantee that they’ll earn vacation homeowners more revenue has earned them trust and helped the company become the fastest-growing property manager in the space.
“We founded Vacasa with the belief that vacation rental guests deserve hotel-level cleanliness and that homeowners should earn the highest possible profits,” says Johnson. “This funding will help us deliver our promise both financially and operationally in even more locations around the world.”