B+: Vacasa's big round
Vacation rentals firm Vacasa has raised Oregon's biggest round of Series B funding for a technology firm. The company announced the closing of a $103.5 million Series B on Tuesday.
The financing is led by Riverwsood Capital and joined by existing Vacasa investors Level Equity and Assurant Growth Investing. New investor NewSpring was also in on the deal.
Vacasa manages vacation rental properties in 17 U.S. states, Europe, South and Central America, and South Africa.
The goal is to take the work out of renting out one's second home. Vacasa offers dynamic pricing of properties and remote booking, so owners can track how their property is doing. The company also hires local cleaning crews and handy people full time.
After bootstrapping for six years, Vacasa announced its first round of outside capital in 2016: $40 million Series A funding led by Level Equity, with an initial close in 2015.
"It is exceptionally rare to see a business of this scale growing this quickly," said Ben Levin, co-founder and co-CEO of Level Equity. "Vacasa has almost tripled its revenue and unit count in the year and a half since we invested while significantly increasing their geographic and technology footprint, as well as growing their senior executive team and brand."
The funding will fuel Vacasa's expansion of its geographic footprint and of its proprietary software or "core technology platform that optimizes every step of the vacation rental process for homeowners and guests."
Eric Breon, Vacasa's co-founder and CEO said, "The vacation rental market opportunity is enormous and we've only just scraped the surface. At Vacasa, our mission is to be the most trusted vacation rental company. This investment allows us to bring our offering to more markets and provide our homeowners and guests unparalleled service."
Jeff Parks, founding partner at Riverwood Capital and the newest member of Vacasa's Board of Directors, said, "Travelers globally have continued to show increasing demand for vacation rentals. Vacasa delivers a solution that drives significant value to both homeowners seeking to rent, and guests seeking to stay in a vacation rental."
Marc Lederman, co-founder and general partner at NewSpring added, "We believe that Vacasa is well positioned to not only continue, but to accelerate its impressive growth rate in this exciting market."
In a blog post the company wrote:
"Series B capital is awarded to companies that have demonstrated a model for sustainable growth in an emerging or transforming industry. Since Vacasa's founding in 2009, we've experienced approximately 70% year-over-year growth. This growth has been a mix of organic (70%) and acquisitive (30%). That means our customers primarily find us through their friends or our marketing, but we sometimes buy other vacation rental management companies."
Vacasa has more than 1,600 employees worldwide and plans to hire 100-plus full-time roles over the next 12 months, including software engineers in Boise, Portland, and Santiago; business development and marketing professionals; and field-based roles in vacation rental destinations around the world.
The money will be used for the following:
In May Vacasa hired Bob Milne, former President of Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America division, as chief operations office. Milne founded his own vacation rental company, The Resort Company, and grew the portfolio to more than 1,000 rentals. In 2011, Milne sold The Resort Company to Wyndham Worldwide.
In September it added Nordstrom's Brian Gill to the board. Seattle-based Gill leads engineering teams, and was CTO and Chief Scientist at Hotwire, and VP of Technology at Expedia.
Vacasa says it is aiming to become the most trusted vacation rental company in the world.
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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