Skift Take

In a growing sector like this where there is a race to scale up, casualties will always exist. Houst will be hoping to capitalize on Hostmaker's misfortune.

UK-based hospitality management company Hostmaker has gone out of business with rival Houst moving to pick up some of its assets in a significant act of consolidation in the urban short-term rental management market.

Skift understands Houst, which was formerly known as Airsorted, is paying upward of $1.3 million (£1 million) to acquire a portion of Hostmaker’s non-UK operations, mainly in France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. Houst has also taken on the management of Hostmaker’s UK accounts.

“Having unified the two largest operators in the European market, Houst will look to seek further M&A and investment opportunities to further develop our markets and help more people host,” said James Jenkins-Yates, Houst founder and CEO.

According to its most recent set of accounts, Hostmaker (Flying Jamon Ltd) made a pretax loss of $18.4 million (£14.3 million) in 2018, an increase of 159 percent on the previous year. Revenue during the same period increased 141 percent to $15.5 million (£12.1 million).

Hostmaker once counted Marriott International as a partner with the two joining forces in the latter’s homesharing pilot. The tie-up didn’t last, however, with Marriott deciding to look elsewhere when it launched its expanded Homes & Villas collection.

Over the course of a number of fundraising rounds, Hostmaker raised $29.3 million in funding with backers including Gaw Capital Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.

The Sunday Times of London reported at the end of February that Hostmaker was scrambling to find new investment.

Hostmaker was founded by husband and wife Nakul Sharma and Deepti Patankar in 2014.

Evolving Sector

The hospitality management sector has expanded on the back of Airbnb’s explosive growth in recent years. Over time that has meant significant venture capital investment as well as consolidation.

GuestReady bought BnbLord last year and later in 2019 four European short-term rental property management companies merged operations under a new brand, Altido.

“We have already seen consolidation in the platform space, and we are currently in the middle of a wave of consolidation in the property management space,” Wouter Geerts, Skift senior research analyst wrote in a 2019 report that takes a close look at the short-term rental ecosystem.

Houst said it’s active in 23 cities with more than 8,000 listings, while GuestReady manages more than 2,000 properties.

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Tags: europe, hostmaker, property management companies, uk

Photo credit: A set of keys. Houst is expanding in the property management sector. the Original Muddog / Flickr

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