The Takeoff Episode 03: Why Team and Culture Matter for Travel Startups Sponsored This content is created collaboratively with one of our sponsors.
Given the huge concerns inherent in home exchanges, CasaHop may have been doomed from the beginning.
Co-founder Florent Peyre left the company in October, the CasaHop Twitter account hasn’t been updated since early October, and its email marketing ceased flowing in mid-September.
In June, CasaHop picked up $1.2 million in funding, with investors including Lerer Ventures’ Soho Tech Labs, Andre Balazs, First Round Capital, Betaworks, David Tisch, Bob Pittman, Jonah Goodhart, Dave Morgan and Nicholas Negroponte, but the social home-exchange site apparently never could get past the insecurities inherent in securing home exchanges through your social networks.
“The timing was off,” Berry tells Betabeat. “Airbnb is really in a winner takes all situation in this area. I hope one day someone is going to break out and make this an enormous idea because I love home exchanges, but too few people feel comfortable with other people staying in their place while they’re away.”
But, CasaHop didn’t directly compete with Airbnb, and there is a whole wide world out there in apartment-sharing and home exchanges.
One player clearly won’t dominate the whole thing.
CasaHop’s problem was working in a relatively small market and the hurdles it faced in trying to overcome concerns about home exchanges.
It would have been very difficult to build a large business given those parameters.