Platforms like Airbnb are booming with more consumers (and business users) than ever eager to stay on private property when traveling or working away from their usual home base. It also means a boom in start-ups building technology to help people who rent property manage the process. The guests The company — which built a platform to manage property listings on multiple sites including Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia and Booking.com — announced today that it has raised $170 million. And it takes a deeper dive into giving us the tools to deal with our changing habits as consumers.
“The lines between traditional hotels and rental accommodation continue to blur as the way people live, work, socialize and travel changes,” co-founder and CEO Amiad Soto said in an interview. rice field. “Hospitality operators, from hosts to property managers to hotel brands, continue to adapt to this new reality. The past few years have brought new customer personas to the short-term rental market. This includes traditional hotel patrons who have high demands on experience and service.”
Apax Digital Funds, MSD Partners and Sixth Street Growth co-led the round for Tel Aviv-based Guesty, with participation from previous backers Viola Growth and Flashpoint. This is partly motivated by our vision of changing travel and living environments.
Apax Digital partner Dave Evans said in a statement: “Guesty is well-positioned to work with hosting businesses of all sizes to define and consolidate its category, thanks to its track record of success and innovation, as well as its ever-growing platform tool suite and intuitive user experience. We are delighted to continue our partnership with a company that continues to transform the industry.”
This is a fully stock Series E, Soto told us in an interview (via email, as it happens to be traveling by myself). Soto didn’t reveal what the valuation was, but he told me he’s tripled since the last round (a $50 million injection 2021). pitch book Note that the previous round was valued at $230 million. If that’s accurate, today’s round puts him at $690 million. (We’ll update as soon as we have more details.) The company isn’t profitable yet, but it’s aiming to be profitable next year, and in his first six months, ARR will exceed his $100 million. .
While the round is large, it is perhaps especially notable given the generally constrained funding this year. It’s also an indicator of where the Guesty is now and where it’s headed.
Soto and Guesty have not disclosed how many properties they manage using their platform, but say that number is growing. “In both 2022 and 2023, we expect revenue and lists under management to continue to double year-over-year,” Soto told me. I reported $35 million funding round In 2019, we found over 100,000 in 70 countries. )
His explanation for not disclosing property numbers has nothing to do with the inevitable disruption Covid-19 has brought to the industry (and Guesty’s especially the user), but as Guesty itself has changed as a business, expanding both the types of properties it manages and their uses.
“Our key indicators of growth are revenue and profitability as our inventory has grown to include more flexible accommodation such as co-living spaces, aparthotels and glamping as well as short-term rental properties. is,” said Soto. Guesty added that year-over-year he has seen 100% growth and expects this to continue. The startup team now has 585 employees, and he doubled that size last year.
“We expect these numbers to continue to grow even more rapidly,” he said.
To that end, Guesty is also rapidly expanding in terms of the types of tools it offers its users and how the platform generates revenue. There are many travel-related start-ups out there, including large companies that specialize in property management technology and services.The company’s acquisitions include My VR (like Y Combinator alum Guesty) and your porter Each leverages deeper multimedia tools for users and provides additional tools for hosts that work across properties owned by third parties.
The plan is to use a portion of this funding to continue picking up more businesses that complement Guesty’s strategy and provide other services beyond simply providing tools to manage properties, We plan to continue to have that user terminate them. End-her one-stop platform for managing your work as a business. There are currently around 18 features, including calendar management and ways to manage multiple booking portals, as well as channels for managing guest-host communication. Analytics and accounting tools, payment tools, and more.
“Hospitality operators are now expected to offer more amenities, real-time responses, increased availability of continuous customer communications, and an overall improved guest experience,” said Soto. I’m here. “The trend to consolidate accommodation types will continue, with ever-increasing consumer expectations leading property and hospitality managers to offer increasingly flexible levels of service and accommodation. Our platform is tailored to meet this need, for example, our technology enables hospitality providers to build in automation, make guest interactions faster and more intuitive, and communicate in the way most guests prefer. We can enhance guest communication by providing smartphone tools and options that are
One area of investment is also building more automation into the product, he said. This is likely aimed at working with customers who manage more assets and may have more repeatable and repetitive tasks.
“We are working hard to increase the level of automation within our products and enhance our AI-based communication tools,” continues Soto. “Guesty’s products provide tools for many types of properties, such as multi-family properties and properties in multiple locations, but as customers evolve, additional needs arise for different types of guests. This gives hospitality providers the flexibility they need to cater for monthly stays and life as a service, tailored for different types of accommodation, from glamping to more traditional hotel-like accommodations. We will enhance the product to provide the tools, and to do this, the product must be very flexible and capable of hybrid solutions.”
Finally, a third area where we are likely to put more effort into is the financial services we provide to our users. “To enhance the value we offer, we are adding and enhancing our fintech products to help our customers bill more efficiently, create credit lines, grow their business, manage risk, and We make loans available to provide more advanced analytics so you can make informed decisions about growing your business and managing additional aspects of your operations,” he said. Added. Acquisitions it may make to grow it all organically will be in both product lines and geographies, Soto said. It is also due to integration. These numbers are now around 130, along with other third-party tools.
The company appears to still have many runways left as independent businesses. Soto declined to comment on whether it has been approached for acquisition by other companies building tools to manage their business and customer service, or by some of the other online travel booking giants. , clearly stated that the Guesty had not seen it. Acquired, but plays the Consolidator itself.
“Guests aren’t looking for exits,” he said. “We strongly believe that the industry is fragmented and ripe for consolidation, and we have already acquired multiple investments, both within the market and vertically, to strengthen our product and position. We are making acquisitions and are proud to have best-in-class business and technology partnerships with all the big travel platforms including Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Expedia and more to deliver value across the ecosystem. .
That said, tethering to certain platforms — Airbnb is “still very popular” among customers and in terms of activity, Soto said, but “booking.com is more popular in Europe. and may actually be growing in the short term.Term rental (STR) sector [with booking.com’s expansion into STR] It now accounts for about 30% of the company’s business. VRBO (from Expedia Group) is also a very popular option in certain parts of the United States, especially for family-friendly properties in rural vacation areas, which naturally attracts companies with potential long-term interest. It seems to mean that they are gathering. They, too, are looking for more ways to diversify their revenue and expand their reach.
Other more direct competitors today include TravelNest, Hostaway and Lodgify.
That said, don’t let the competitive environment deter investors.
Dan Bitar, co-head and MD of MSD Growth, said: “Guesty’s robust product offerings, strong R&D team, and proven ability to expand its business geographically make it an ideal platform for consolidating currently fragmented markets. ”
said Michael McGinn, partner and co-head of Sixth Street Growth. statement. “With Guesty’s strong management team, long-term vision, product innovation, key customers and partners, we have complete confidence in the company’s ability to further strengthen its leadership in the world of hospitality and property management.”