The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global travel and tourism industry. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the pandemic caused a 22 per cent fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020 and predicted that the annual decline could be between 60 – 80 per cent. Despite that, Munich-based Holidu had turned profitable and had also raised funding from former Booking.com CEO Kees Koolen.
And today, the traveltech company announced that it has secured $45M (approx €37.1M) in its Series D round of funding. The round was led by 83North. Including this round, the company has raised more than $120M (approx €99.16M) in funding, to date.
Other investors in this round
Besides 83North, the round also saw participation from existing investors including Prime Ventures, EQT ventures, Coparion, Senovo, Kees Koolen, Lios Ventures, and Chris Hitchen. Claret Capital (formerly Harbert European Growth Capital) also participated in this development.
How was Holidu born?
The platform was founded in 2014 by brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers. It was founded by the duo following a frustrating experience while booking a vacation rental for a surfing trip to Portugal. They spent hours browsing through dozens of websites to find the right accommodation and realised that some of the rentals were offered on multiple sites for different prices. And this when they decided to launch a platform to make the search and booking of vacation rentals easy.
Holidu’s search engine for vacation rentals allows travellers to book the ideal accommodation for the lowest price. The company also helps vacation rental owners multiply their bookings with less work through its software and service solution under the Bookiply brand.
Currently, Holidu is active in 21 countries with more than 15 million vacation rental offers. Under the Bookiply brand, the company helps vacation rental owners to get bookings through a software-and-service solution.
Capital for expansion of Bookiply
The raised capital will help Holidu to further accelerate the profitable growth of its vacation rental search engine and the expansion of its vacation rental software business with Bookiply.
Johannes Siebers, CEO & co-founder of Holidu, says, “With Bookiply we have become the number one supplier of vacation rentals in several regions. Thanks to our regional approach and our technologically optimised processes, we are able to economically acquire new vacation rentals.”
The company also plans to double its technology organisation and invest in new partnerships for supply acquisition in order to meet the demand of travellers for private accommodation. And, to offer the best possible service for regional vacation rental owners, the company is opening further Bookiply offices across Europe.
Co-founder & CTO of Holidu, Michael Siebers adds, “We have been quick to build new features that users want in the current situation, for example, flexible cancellation and payment solutions. With this funding, we will invest further in product development and will double our technology organisation.”
Revenue growth during the pandemic
Despite the pandemic hitting the travel industry especially hard, Holidu’s revenues grew substantially compared to 2019. In July 2020 alone, more than 27 million travelers used the Holidu website, making it one of the largest platforms for vacation rentals worldwide.
Also, Bookiply expanded its customer base of vacation rental owners and claims to have become the largest supplier of vacation rentals in leisure destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and Sardinia.
Johannes Siebers, CEO & co-founder of Holidu, says, “The desire to travel again is huge and holiday rentals are perfectly suited to serve the rebound. Despite ongoing lock-downs, our bookings in 2021 are already significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and we expect demand to soar this summer.”