9flats challenges UK short term rentals

German based short-term apartment rental company 9flats has announced it is to launch in the UK.

The site offers services similar to US-based Airbnb and the UK based HouseTrip.com but the main difference is the location of the properties it offers.

While HouseTrip and Airbnb tend to focus on renting apartments in city centres, 9flats founder and former Lastminute.com executive, Stephan Ulhrenbacher said it had a greater range.

“We have a bit more diversity geographically and we have also tried to ensure that the flats on offer aren’t just owned by expatriates to give a more authentic feel for the cities,” he said. 

Uhrenbacher started 9flats after noticing that Airbnb had a limited European inventory. Since the company has launched in Spain and Germany and will be launching in France and Italy as well. There are also plans to launch a base in Asia and South America.

9flats also plans to cultivate relationships with major travel portals to help distribute its rooms. Currently, the company has about 9,000 flats in around 40 countries, with more than 20,000 members and around 500 joining each day.

9flats has currently set its sights on reaching the 100,000 nights booked mark which it said should generate between $1 million and $2 million in revenue. The company is funded by eVenture Capital Partners.

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