HomeAway acquires Asian start-up Travelmob

VACATION rentals website HomeAway has entered an agreement to take over the majority control of Travelmob, in a continued push to go deeper into the Asia-Pacific market.

The Singapore-based Travelmob is an online start-up for vacation rentals in Asia-Pacific, with an inventory of over 14,000 properties. The site supports 13 different currencies and operates in Bahasa, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese and English.

Following the closure of the all-cash transaction in a few weeks, Travelmob will retain 37 per cent of the business.

HomeAway and Travelmob first started dealing through a distribution partnership announced in March this year, and HomeAway expects to spend US$2 million in further growing its acquisition.

The move is the latest push by HomeAway to ramp up its presence in the region, which has seen it invest in China-based vacation rental company, Tujia.com, in partnership with Ctrip.com International; launch an Australia site in HomeAway.com.au; and seal distribution partnerships with Wego.com and Tripvillas.com. It also opened a sales office in Bangkok in April this year.

“Economists note over 100 million people will enter the Asian middle class each of the next several years, and 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 Brian Sharples, CEO, HomeAway, in a media statement.

“We view Asia as a region where we can build tremendous incremental value for our shareholders and existing customers over the next several years. Given this opportunity, we’re excited to work with the experienced Travelmob team to address today’s market needs in Asia ­– where vacation rentals are mostly new, but alternative accommodations are not – to build scale and accelerate the development of the vacation rental industry.”

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