Aarhus-based Landfolk has today announced a big funding boost for its summerhouse platform. While the funding amount hasn’t been disclosed, it’s in the seven-figure range and was led by Danish venture fund HEARTLAND. The investment firm has invested several million euros to bring Landfolk to international markets.
Founded in 2021 by ex-Airbnb employees, Landfolk is putting a Danish spin on Airbnb’s business model, bringing nature back to city dwellers. The young startup offers a platform and community for holiday home enthusiasts who want to rent or book a unique vacation immersed in nature. Landfolk sets itself apart by allowing only handpicked summer houses that fulfil five specific criteria to be listed on its platform.
In a little over a year, the team has built a platform for more than 300 unique Danish summer houses rented out by passionate hosts.
The demand for holiday homes has skyrocketed in the last two years as the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically influenced travel behaviours and travel trends. It has left the travel industry with the need to be innovative and pivot, and Landfolk is certainly doing so. In Denmark, and across Europe, there’s been a trend of travellers rediscovering childhood vacations and opting for staycations. Landfolk has been able to grow into this area – already in 2022, Landfolk has seen a higher booking volume than in the entire previous year.
CEO, Christian Schwarz Lausten, sold his company Gaest.com to Airbnb in 2019. He explained: “Our goal is to create Northern Europe’s largest and most loved community for holiday homeowners and those looking for a unique vacation. Landfolk was created because we have a real passion for the Danish holiday home. Not only do we want to allow guests to have that unique cottage experience, we also want to redefine what it’s like to own a cottage. We are excited and proud that HEARTLAND will be part of that journey.”
The traveltech startup really appeals to a new generation of younger holiday home wonders – who are looking to find a retreat from the hustle and bustle of their everyday city life. Returning to nature and designing their homes with a focus on design, charm and authenticity. The company reports that 79% of its homeowners are younger than 50, and more than half have never rented their homes out before. Landfolk is therefore bringing this market to an entirely new generation, reflecting a high potential for massive growth.
CEO of HEARTLAND Lise Kaae added: “Landfolk is a breath of fresh air in an industry that doesn’t mind a little innovation. Landfolk offers a unique combination of handpicked premium supply that’s bookable with sophisticated technology, making the guest’s booking experience seamless. This is a highly experienced team that has been able to show early traction through their community approach. Landfolk is an exciting new player in the market and we are thrilled to be partnering with them.”
By the end of 2022, the team wants to list more than 1,000 unique and hand-picked Danish holiday homes on the platform, many of which can’t be booked anywhere else, and expand its offering for both hosts and guests to Germany and Sweden.