Wednesday, February 04, 2009

HomeAway buys Homeliday with part of their cash mountain

Back in November US based vacation rental listing company HomeAway raised a staggering $250mm at a billion dollar plus valuation. Sitting around at PhoCusWright with other bloggers we speculated who they would buy with the money and whether or not they would use the money to get into Europe. Now care of a Kevin May Travolution story we know that they have spent some of it (no idea how much) on acquiring the French based Homeliday.

Other vacation rental business owned by HomeAway include:
Hard to pass any substantive judgement without knowing the price paid. Generically speaking the vacation rental business is (like any media business) a scale game, so improvements in scale (including brand breadth) are a good thing. That's right, I said "like any media business". Don't let the look and feel of HomeAway fool you. It is not a retail/sales model like an OTA or online hotel company or the HomeAway competitor VacationRoost. HomeAway operate on a listing model - properties pay to list on the site. The base package is a flat listing fee (this I know for sure) which might be supplemented with premium listing packages and fees (this I am speculating). Think of the model as a targeted, online yellow pages model. Summary - a media business not a retail business. Media loves more and more scale and HomeAway are happy to buy their way.

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