Vacasa Raises $103.5 Million in Series B Funding to Take on Airbnb

Vacasa LLC, a Portland, Oregon-based vacation rental management company, has raised $103.5 billion in a Series B funding round led by new investor Riverwood Capital. Level Equity, Assurant Growth Investing and NewSpring also joined the round. The recent financing has doubled Vacasa’s valuation, according to Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the deal.

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Founded in 2009, Vacasa’s website allows homeowners to rent and promote their homes to travelers and connects them with maintenance and cleaning services. After over a decade and a half of steering clear of institutional investment, the “full-service property management company” secured its first $40 million in Series A last year.

As the market for home-rentals continues to expand and present itself as a larger threat to the traditional hotel industry, investors foresee Vacasa taking on current leaders such as as Airbnb Inc. and perhaps ultimately becoming an acquisition target. Vacasa, self-described as a “tortoise to Airbnb’s hare,” seeks to differentiate itself through its dynamic pricing system with algorithms that take everything into account in near-real time. The newest algorithm analyzes market rates, home size, location, luxury classification and local events, in order to make it easy for homeowners trying to find an optimal price point.

The platform has steadily expanded from “one unit on the Oregon cost” to over 6,000 units across the US. The company currently employs 400 people out of its headquarters in Portland and an additional 1,200 across field-based roles including housekeepers, reservation agents and local managers.

At large, deal activity has been on the rise in the home-rental space, with Airbnb, Expedia Inc. and Priceline Group Inc. all snatching up their fare share of startups over the last year.

In particular, the high-end rental business has been eyed as a segment ripe for disruption as it offers the prospect of higher profits from wealthier travelers. Earlier this year, Airbnb bought out Vacasa rival Luxury Retreats in a deal worth about $300 million.