As happened with major online travel agencies, there will eventually be several winners in short-term rentals beyond Airbnb. But will these come from the independent property managers trying to build consumer brands, or will the larger players take them out as is customary?
Online Travel This Week
Airbnb, with its $97 billion valuation, is a clear winner in the short-term rental sector, but will independent property managers and others be able to succeed in building their own brands and gain relevancy?
European companies such as Interhome and Wyndham's former vacation rental business, now called Awaze, have been around for decades, and have plenty of traction.
But in the U.S. there are numerous short-term rental firms, including Vacasa and Sonder, which are on the cusp of trading on the stock market, as well as AvantStay, that are trying to become household name brands.
The flurry of companies in an evolving sector like short-term rentals that are vying to become consumer brands recalls the early days of the online travel industry, some of it pre-Google, when Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Opodo duked it out for digital travel supremacy.
All of these online travel agencies had big backers: Travelocity had Sabre, Expedia was spun out of Microsoft, U.S. airlines founded Orbitz, and the pan-European online travel agency Opod