HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ:AWAY) is a public vacation rental website that has acquired a Singapore-based startup company called Travelmob. Travelmob will enable HomeAway to compete against Airbnb in the Asia-Pacific area. HomeAway bought a majority stake of Travelmob in an undisclosed all-cash deal. HomeAway now owns a 63% stake in Travelmob. Travelmob has 16 employees and they will continue operating their independent brand in Singapore. HomeAway will invest $2 million in the Travelmob arm to help them grow their presence there.
Earlier this week Airbnb indicated that they will be holding off expansion plans overseas, which gives HomeAway an opportunity to rapidly expand. Airbnb’s international team is going to focus more on customer support. More good news for HomeAway is that Rocket Internet shut down their Airbnb clone in China called Airizu. HomeAway competes against Chinese rivals Xiaozhu, Mayi, and Tujia.
In December 2012, HomeAway also partnered with Tujia. Tujia will carry HomeAway’s listings on their website, translated in Chinese. HomeAway also has a minority stake in Tujia.
HomeAway partnered with Travelmob in March. Travelmob’s 14,000 rentals are cross-listed in Asia on HomeAway’s website. That deal must have gone well because HomeAway acquired a majority stake in Travelmob. HomeAway has around 740,000 listings across 171 countries.
HomeAway chief executive officer Brian Sharples is eyeing around 100 million people in Asia that will be entering the middle class in the next few years. “Asia will have an increasing influence over the world?s economic growth. We believe this will have significant implications for not only travel but also for the purchase of homes, both of which drive HomeAway?s growth,” said Sharples.
Travelmob recently raised $1 million in seed funding from Singapore VC and Jungle Ventures this past September. Travelmob co-founder Turochas Fuad previously used to be the managing director of Skype Asia.
HomeAway went public in 2011 and they raised $216 million as part of the offering. The company raised nearly half a billion in venture funding in 2008 with a valuation of about $1.4 billion in 2010.