HouseTrip.com plans to use the $17 million second round funding to increase its product offering of privately owned holiday apartments.
Established in January 2010 HouseTrip is one of a growing number of firms in the ‘unhotel category’ and has recently moved its base to London after seeing large numbers of bookings for the 2012 Olympics.
As part of the deal for new funding Tim Bunting of Balderton Capital will join Neil Rimer of Index Ventures and HouseTrip.com founders Arnaud Bertrand and Junjun Chen on the board.
The firm said the funding will be used to develop increased functionality of the website, increase inventory and for marketing and localisation, Bertrand said:
“With this new investment, we now have the ability to get closer to our vision making HouseTrip a powerful alternative to hotels around the world.
“At HouseTrip, we strongly believe that apartments are a much better way to travel. Not only do apartments provide better value for money, they also allow guests to become part of the local community for the duration of their stay.
“HouseTrip thinks that travellers genuinely prefer booking a fully-furbished apartment rather than a hotel when going on holiday – but are given too many stumbling blocks when planning their trips.
“Balderton and Index Ventures’ investment will allow HouseTrip to provide consumers with a product that will make apartment rentals easier, quicker and safer than ever before.”
Tim Bunting, a partner at Balderton Capital, added: “Balderton chose to invest in HouseTrip.com because we felt HouseTrip offered the best model in a rapidly-growing field. HouseTrip has the vision and passion to win the race in this sector.”
HouseTrip claims to have generated 500,000 booking nights for 55,000 properties with its most popular having generated more than $1 million in the first year of listing.