HomeAway Inc. has secured a record $160 million in debt and equity financing to fund the vacation-rental Web portal’s continued expansion, the company announced today.
Expansion plans include the acquisition of Vacation Rentals by Owner, VRBO.com, one of the largest vacation-rental Web sites in the United States. The company said it also plans to boost marketing efforts to grow traffic and continue developing technology for locating and renting homes online.
VRBO.com will continue to operate as an independent brand run by the existing management team.
HomeAway owns vacation-rental Web sites where people planning vacations can find houses to rent. The company’s growth highlights the growing trend of people buying second homes throughout the world.
Existing investors Austin Ventures and Redpoint Ventures and new investors American Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Trident Capital provided the financing. Founded in February 2005, HomeAway has raised more than $200 million in capital.
“The unprecedented number of people who own second homes in the U.S. and Europe means the supply of quality rental properties has never been stronger and that owners are now realizing the ease and great return on investment of marketing online. This financing enables HomeAway to grow its worldwide marketplace even more quickly,” said Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway.
HomeAway’s latest acquisition of VRBO.com adds nearly 65,000 properties to HomeAway, giving it a total of 130,000 properties in nearly 100 countries. HomeAway’s Web sits include HomeAway.com, CyberRentals.com, GreatRentals.com, A1Vacations.com, TripHomes.com, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk in the United Kingdom and FeWo-direkt.de in Germany.
HomeAway (as WVR Group) received $49 million in equity funding prior to the most recent investment round.