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HomeAway Buys Vacation Rental Startup TravelMob


Online vacation rental marketplace HomeAway is buying a majority stake in travelmob, a Singapore based start-up for vacation rental properties, and with it, a presence in India.

Following the all-cash transaction, travelmob management team will retain a 37 percent share of the business and continue to operate independently. HomeAway will invest about $2.0 million to grow the travelmob business. Travelmob was a distribution partner for HomeAway – a partnership which was announced in March this year – and it featured 14,000 Asia Pacific short-term rental listings including luxury villas, urban apartments, houseboats, a private island and even some shared spaces. We checked, and Travelmob has listings for India (735 for Delhi, 278 for Mumbai, 392 for Bangalore), but strangely doesn’t accept INR as a currency. Travelmob was co-founded in 2012 by Turochas Fuad and Prashant Kirtane, and had a team size of 16 people. Investors in the business include Jungle Ventures, Accel Partners and private investors, including Dan Neary, Vice President of Asia Pacific at Facebook. HomeAway claims 742,000 paid listings of vacation rental homes in 171 countries. It also operates Bedandbreakfast.com.

It’s worth noting that HomeAway also has a partnership in India with Tripvillas, a company that had raised over $1 million from Neoteny Labs, Blume Ventures, MENA Venture Investments and other Angel Investors in March 2012. In India, Tripvillas has offices in Gurgaon and Mumbai, and as of May 3rd 2013, it had 2336 listings for India). We wonder how this deal might play out, when it comes to the Indian part of the business – would HomeAway look to build travelmob in India, or continue with Tripvillas, which is its competitor.

Other companies operating in this space include Oravel, which raised seed funding last year. AirBNB also operates in India through its partnership with Springstar, of which Harish Bahl’s Smile group is a part-owner.

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