Vacasa's new board member hints at IPO future

Matt Roberts, former CEO of OpenTable, has experience helping multiple startups going public

Matt Roberts, the former CEO of OpenTable is joining the board of directors for vacation rental management startup Vacasa.

Matt Roberts | Photo credit: Vacasa

The company — which caters to owners of vacation rental properties who are looking to outsource and automate management of their properties, as well as renters who want to book said properties online — confirmed Tuesday that Roberts is joining the board as it expands its footprint in the U.S. and abroad.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Roberts to our board of directors,” Vacasa founder and CEO Eric Breon said in a statement. “His experience with rapid growth companies that utilize technology to solve complex problems for consumers, in addition to his expertise in facilitating strategic growth, make him an ideal fit for Vacasa.”

Vacasa currently manages a portfolio of 13,000 homes around the world, extending across 30 U.S. states and 16 foreign countries, according to the company’s data. Although privately traded, the company also boasts of 60 percent revenue and inventory growth for consecutive years.

Vacasa also recently launched an interior design service for rental owners, which joins their Vacasa Real Estate, Vacasa Community Association Management, Vacasa Multifamily among the company’s services. Vacasa is aiming to be more than a vacation rental management service and rather wants to be, a “one-stop shop for all things vacation rental,” the company said in the release.

Eric Breon | Photo credit: LinkedIn

Breon said Roberts’ appointment doesn’t impact the company’s tech or product roadmaps.

“We have a talented tech and product team and robust roadmap,” Breon said. “We look forward to sharing new advancements in the coming months.”

Roberts spent a decade with OpenTable, the online restaurant booking service. He served as CFO from 2005 to 2011 and CEO from 2011 to 2015.

Roberts, in his time as CFO guided OpenTable through its initial public offering. Vacasa hasn’t expressed any public sentiments about going to IPO, but Roberts could theoretically be a strong voice in assisting the company through that process. Vacasa raised $64 million in its most recent funding round and $103.5 million in 2017.

Breon told Inman that Roberts’ appointment won’t impact the timeline of the company going to IPO, but it does speak to the company’s future expectations.

“With experience taking OpenTable public as CFO and then running it as CEO, [Roberts] has an exceptional background for mentoring myself and the rest of the executive team,” Breon said.

Roberts was also the vice president of finance of E-Loan when the company went public and a member of the board of Xoom when that company went public.

During Roberts’ time at OpenTable, the company’s customer base grew from 3,000 to 32,000 and cumulative seated diners grew from just under 12 million to more than 830 million, according to Vacasa.

“The vacation rental industry is experiencing tremendous growth with the significant shift in consumer preference toward professionally managed homes,” Roberts said in a statement. “Vacasa is poised to become the leading brand in the space which is an exciting time to join the board. I look forward to lending my experience to help Vacasa scale into its next stage of growth.”

Email Patrick Kearns