Clearstone Venture Partners claims that funding LeisureLink is a better investment than in Airbnb or HomeAway. That may be a frivolous boast but what's clear is that a lot of people are going to make a ton of money on the business and distribution side of the vacation rental and alternative lodging industry.
With the alternative lodging sector one of the hottest in travel, vacation rental distributor LeisureLink raised $17 million in funding from Clearstone Ventures, Kinderhook Industries, and Escalate Capital Partners.
VacationRoost, which is a professional manager of vacation rentals and has a consumer site, acquired LeisureLink in 2014 and changed the company’s name to LeisureLink to emphasize its business services and distribution to the vacation rental industry. The original LeisureLink, which was founded in 2006, had raised about $17 million, and this additional $17 million round is the first fundraising post-acquisition.
LeisureLink, now based in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides vacation rental owners distribution to Airbnb, HomeAway/Expedia, TripAdvisor/Flipkey, other online travel agencies and major global distribution systems.
The primary uses of the new funding will be to ramp up the company’s operations to meet demand and to improve the LeisureLink distribution platform, officials said.
“I love finding a desperately needed business that can capture market leadership without too much attention,” said Jim Armstrong, managing director at Clearstone Venture Partners. “We believe LeisureLink is a better way to invest in the fast-growing online vacation rental marketplace than Airbnb, HomeAway or any of the customer-facing sites. We represent the suppliers, don’t have to reacquire our customers, and have a terrific performance-based revenue model.”
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