In an affirmation of the vacation rental property-management sector and its potential, Portland, Oregon-based Vacasa, founded in 2009, raised $35 million in venture funding — the first outside capital it has raised.
Level Equity, a New York-based growth equity firm, led the Series A round, which Vacasa plans to use for U.S. domestic and international expansion. Currently operating in about a dozen U.S. states, Belize, Chile, Italy, and Spain, Vacasa employs about 1,000 people, plans on doubling its workforce in 2016, and intends to move into a 40,000 square-foot office in June.
Vacasa’s business revolves around signing up vacation rental owners, managing and marketing their properties, and providing distribution options to attract consumer bookings. There is a tech component to the offering in that Vacasa offers owners a yield management tool to optimally price rentals and drive revenue.
In addition to providing tools and services for owners, Vacasa states that its employees in locations where it has vacation rentals work to ensure guest satisfaction. Vacasa has a 2.8 rating from employees out of 5 from Glassdoor, which highlights the challenges of managing a growing team. HomeAway has a 4.2 rating from employees on Glassdoor.
On the funding, Vacasa CEO and co-founder Eric Breon, said: “It’s a big vote of confidence for an investor of this caliber to embrace the Vacasa vision. So far, we’ve been successful in growing Vacasa without external capital. The new financing will help us accelerate our pace of expansion into markets and countries where we do not have a presence, giving our customers access to some of the most desirable destinations in the world.”
Asked about the Glassdoor ratings, Vacasa responded:
“We have been 100% bootstrapped since our founding in 2009 and have been cash flow positive since 2010. Despite not needing outside funding, we were introduced to a few investors last year which is when we started entertaining the idea of accepting outside funding. We have long since focused on providing guests with a consistent experience through operational excellence, which just last year resulted in our company receiving the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for the Oregon Large Company of the Year.
“Our company culture is very entrepreneurial and collaborative in nature. We have several employees who have thrived at Vacasa and built great careers here. We are also focused on continuously improving our processes and systems so that we provide guests, homeowners and employees easy, efficient and seemless experiences.”