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HomeAway, which announced it has become an investor in recommendations and reviews site Gogobot as a participant in a $20 million Series C round, is taking steps to enhance the vacation rental guest’s experience by integrating services from Gogobot, Uber, and Instacart.
HomeAway is integrating Uber services into the HomeAway app, initially in the U.S., but the plan is to enable vacation rental guests to book Uber’s on demand transportation for more than 200 destinations around the world.
The addition of Instacart brings grocery services to HomeAway users, ostensibly allowing them to keep a full pantry of food stocked in their vacation home.
With Gogobot, which now counts HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples as a board member in tandem with participation in Gogobot’s $20 million Series C investment round, guests will be able to supplement a host’s recommendations on local attractions with advice from Facebook friends and member’s of Gobobot’s theme-oriented “tribes,” HomeAway states.
HomeAway plans to integrate Gogobot’s reviews and destination guides into HomeAway apps and websites, and in turn HomeAway’s vacation rental owner-created Insider Guides will get greater visibility on Gogobot properties, HomeAway states.
HomeAway has been branching out in terms of the services it provides both to vacation rental owners, offering them various property management alternatives, and guests with the integration of Gogobot, Uber and Instacart, and previously offering Insider Guides from owners.
“We’re also excited about our investment in Gogobot, as we believe it represents the next-generation review platform for the travel industry,” Sharples says.
Sharples explains how HomeAway is broadening its vision from being merely a vacation rental provider into providing more of a complete guest experience.
“Nearly ten years ago when HomeAway was founded, our mission was to make the process of finding and renting a vacation home as easy as a hotel,” says Sharples. “Our new mission is to make the entire rental experience even better than staying in a hotel by leveraging the power of mobile and the exploding industry for local services that are capitalizing on the power of this platform.”