Munich-based Holidu is global price comparison platform for holiday rentals, where people to find, compare, and book vacation rentals around the world.
Founded in 2014, the startup announced today that it has raised a €40 million Series C funding round. The round was led by Prime Ventures, with participation from coparion and MairDuMont Ventures. All existing investors, including EQT Ventures, Venture Stars, Senovo and business angel Chris Hitchen, also participated in the round.
Holidu was founded by brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers following a frustrating experience while booking a holiday rental for a surfing trip to Portugal. The brothers spent hours browsing through dozens of websites to find the right accommodation and realised that some of the rentals were offered on multiple websites for different prices, and that calendars shown on websites were often not up-to-date.
Since then, Holidu has become one of the fastest growing travel companies worldwide. Its search engine is now active in 21 markets and serves more than 10 million visitors per month. With its proprietary image recognition technology, Holidu compares the prices of more than 15 million rental properties across 600 different websites including Airbnb, Booking.com and Homeaway, enabling users to save substantially on their bookings. Earlier this year, Holidu built on its organic growth by acquiring its Spanish competitor Hundredrooms.
While the fragmentation of the market makes booking holiday rentals difficult for travellers, it also makes the management of rentals difficult for rental owners. To maximise occupancy and synchronise calendars, Holidu has also created a solution for vacation rental owners under the brand Bookiply.
Bookiply serves holiday rental owners by distributing properties to the largest travel websites, synchronising calendars, and creating multilingual descriptions as well as professional photos. Bookiply already manages 5,000 properties and is the market leader in several European leisure destinations, and focuses on property owners who are not yet online or whose digital presence can be optimised.
The new funding will be used to further drive product development of both the Holidu and Bookiply platforms. In addition, the company will grow its inventory by increasing the portfolio of connected Holidu partners and rapidly ramping up the number of vacation rental owners working with Bookiply. To achieve this, the company also plans to open multiple regional offices.
“We are thrilled to work with such a strong group of investors including Prime Ventures and EQT Ventures,” said Johannes Siebers, CEO and co-founder of Holidu. “The funding will accelerate our growth and help us create more unique value for our partners, travelers and vacation rental owners.”
“Holidu has developed products that users love on both sides of the holiday rental market,” said Nick Kalliagkopoulos, Principal at Prime Ventures. “We were impressed by the technology and customer focus of the team and we are excited to partner with them to further scale the business.”