Snaptrip.com has acquired Last Minute Cottages having secured a £2.1 million investment round.
The deal sees the last minute holiday rentals provider take over the websites lastminute-cottages.co.uk, big-cottages.com and henpartyvenues.co.uk.
Existing investor Bestport Ventures, which backed the company in 2015, led the funding round which also included Forward Partners and several current and new angel investors, including Matthew Witt, the former chief operating officer of Active Hotels.
Snaptrip.com was founded in April 2014 by Matt Fox and Dan Harrison and claims to offer the “largest range” of last minute, discounted UK holiday properties.
The investment has been used to acquire Last Minute Cottages Limited, fund marketing and expand into mainland Europe.
Snaptrip.com chief executive Matt Fox said: “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to the last minute cottage market, and our focus on dominating the huge opportunity to help managers and owners of holiday rental properties to sell off unsold inventory for spontaneous, bargain hunting consumers.
“Due to the quality and lifespan of the websites operated by Last Minute Cottages, they each have a really strong organic search engine presence. The resulting site traffic will provide us with a fantastic boost to our growing position as the UK’s biggest and best ‘last minute’ self-catering brand.
“This will be Snaptrip.com’s first time working with individual homeowners. While Snaptrip.com lists the inventory of professionally managed rental agencies such as Sykes Cottages, Cottages.com, Hoseasons, Holiday Cottages and the Original Cottage Company, Last Minute Cottages works with individual owners who advertise their properties with the websites. We’ve previously had a lot of owners express interest in adding their properties to Snaptrip.com and this gives us a platform to work with.
“With the additional websites that Last Minute Cottages operate, our plan is to maintain the existing sites as they are, upholding links with owners and growing the traffic and bookings across all our portfolio businesses.”
Owners of Devon-based Last Minute Cottages, Jill Nielson and Judy Lawson, added: “We have been running Last Minute Cottages for more than 10 years and whilst it is something we love, we both have other interests we’d like to pursue. We have been approached by companies in the past that wanted to buy Last Minute Cottages but we never felt like they were the right companies or the right time for us to proceed.
“We immediately got the sense from the management team [at Snaptrip.com] that our business would not only be in good hands but be in a fantastic position to progress to the next stage. We have grown to see many of our owners as friends over the years and knowing the sector as we do we wanted to make sure that the best interests of our advertisers were always a priority. Snaptrip.com respects this and what it wants to do with the business was crucial to our decision.”
Snaptrip.com has recorded growth of more than 130% year on year.