Skift Take

The short-term rental space is fragmented to the hilt. We'll probably see more channel managers like Rentals United consolidating or seeing their businesses dry up.

Tel Aviv-based Guesty, which provides property-management system tools for the vacation-rental industry, announced the acquisition of a partner and sometime competitor Rentals United.

Guesty didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but said Rentals United, which is based in Barcelona and provides distribution services known as channel management, will continue to operate its own brand with its leadership intact.

“We believe in consolidation,” Guesty CEO Amiad Soto told Skift on Wednesday before the announcement. “I think this industry is too fragmented and still needs to be consolidated so we can all make the best products. If you look at more mature industries, you can see that there are more consolidated players and that allows for a much better customer experience, much better customer support, and a much better product for our customers.”

Guesty, which recently raised $130 million in a Series F, has rolled up a series of acquisitions in the last three years, including that of marketing distribution platform Staysense, hospitality software firms Kigo and Hirum, as well as hotel revenue and distribution platform YieldPlanet.

Soto said Guesty isn’t yet profitable, but forecasts it will be this year. Rentals United already is making money. Rental United’s 80 employees will join forces with Guesty’s 750, he said.

‘Inflection Point” in Vacation Rental Distribution

The acquisition takes place at a time when channel managers such as Rentals United are coming under pressure. Property-management system software providers such as Guesty, Hostfully and Track are building their own connections for clients to major short-term rental platforms, including Airbnb, Expedia,, Tripadvisor and Agoda.

“The evolution of channel connectivity in the short term rental space is at an inflection point,” said Amber Carpenter, senior vice president of product and marketing at property-management company Vtrips. “With most PMS platforms including native channel management at a fraction of the cost of third party channel managers, I believe we will see stand-alone channel managers having to choose to either add PMS functionality, sell to a PMS or face extinction.”

She added that short-term rental managers are looking to simplify their tech stacks, which means more potentially looking to end relationships with standalone channel managers.

Both Guesty and Rentals United provide distribution services as part of their offerings. While Guesty’s solution focuses on distribution to the big platforms, Rentals United can add value to Guesty because Rentals United offers connections to many niche online travel platforms, which are still important to have.

Soto had a different view as it pertains to Rentals United, though.

“Rentals United is a growing and a profitable market leader in the market of STR channel management and wasn’t under any duress,” Soto said.

Guesty’s announcement said the deal will enhance its distribution network, help it scale the business for both sets of customers, and further develop sophisticated products such as efficiency tools using AI.

Soto said Guesty, which has $410 million in total funding to date, aims to go public, although he provided no timetable.

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Tags: channel managers, distribution, dwell, guesty, mergers, online travel, online travel newsletter, pms, property management system

Photo credit: (From left) Guesty President Vered Raviv-Schwarz and CEO Amiad Soto. Ben Keller

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