Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Short-Term Rentals

HomeToGo Earns $155 million in 2022 Revenue, Surpasses Initial Guidance

1 year ago

German vacation rental marketplace HomeToGo’s revenue grew to €146 million ($155 million) in 2022, up 54 percent from the comparable period in 2021. This is well ahead of its initial guidance of €120-125 million ($127-$132 million) for 2022. The announcement is part of the company’s preliminary results for 2022. 

During the same period, the Berlin-based company’s subscriptions and services grew to €24 million ($25.4 million) increasing by 169 percent from €9 million ($9.5 million) in 2021. Its onsite revenues, where travelers booked directly on the company’s websites, grew to €67 million ($71 million), up by 111 percent from €32 million ($34 million) from 2021. 

A resort listed on HomeToGo in Williamsburg, Virginia. Source: HomeToGo

Founded in 2014, HomeToGo currently operates localized apps and websites in 25 countries.

In January this year, the company said it was on track to break even in 2023, buoyed by the optimism of a much greater backlog of bookings at the beginning of 2023 than the previous year. The booking backlog of €32.5 million ($34.5 million) amounted to a 72 percent year-over-year increase.

“One key piece of this has been our clear focus on an efficient marketing strategy to drive and scale repeat demand,” HomeToGo CFO ​​Steffen Schneider told Skift in January. 

HomeToGo raised a total of $176 million in private funding over six rounds, and has acquired 10 companies, a prominent one being e-domizil for $45 million in March 2022. 

Short-Term Rentals

MYNE Acquires German Rival VillaCircle

1 year ago

Berlin-based MYNE, which manages co-ownership of holiday properties, acquired its rival VillaCircle

The company did not disclose any details of the deal. A company spokesperson told Skift that the “deal has an eight digit valuation.” MYNE will take over the real estate and customer care of VillaCircle, and existing operations will be transferred to the MYNE platform.

Hamburg-based VillaCircle has a similar proposition — a co-ownership model that guarantees the partial acquisition of vacation properties. VillaCircle offers fractional-ownership of luxurious holiday homes in Spain, Austria, Croatia, and on the Côte d’Azur, among others.

“Acquisitions play an important role for us in further growth and underline our claim to be the leading platform for investments in holiday properties in Europe,” said Nikolaus Thomale, Founder and Managing Director of MYNE. “With the expansion of the portfolio to additional destinations, and a strengthening of the offer in the luxury segment, MYNE is appealing to an even larger target group.”

A property listed on MYNE Homes in Germany. Source: MYNE

MYNE allows customers to purchase shares in holiday rental properties for an initial investment of €50,000 ($53,000). MYNE handles the acquisition, sales, and tenant acquisition as well as manages the property for a monthly fee. Different from the timeshare model, customers can resell their share at any time. The company currently offers properties in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. 

Founded in 2021, MYNE raised over €23.5 million in equity and debt from investors including FinTech Fund Motive Ventures, the family office of TruVenturo by HomeToGo founder Nils Regge, and the real estate-related investors Scope Hanson and Rivus Capital.

Online Travel

Google Will No Longer Be a Place to Book Travel as Fewer Travelers Were Using It

2 years ago

Google announced it will shut Book on Google for flights for users outside the U.S. at the end of September, and told Skift it will likewise end the feature in the U.S. sometime after March 31.

It turns out, a declining number of users were booking their flights on Google, which acknowledged that travelers would rather book their flights with online travel agencies or directly with airlines.

Google Flights will end doing its own airline bookings. Source: Sean O’Neill

To be clear, Google Flights is not shutting down, but will continue to enable travelers to click on airline and online travel agency links to book their flights, as they have done for years for the vast majority of flights. What changes is that Google will no longer take a small share of bookings on Google channels, but will refer all users to partners for bookings.

Eliminating the feature likewise doesn’t hurt Google’s case to beat back regulatory efforts to diminish its power on antitrust grounds.

With the Book on Google feature for flights, travelers can book on Google, but Google was just facilitating the booking for that airline or online travel agency, and the latter provided the customer service function. Google wasn’t charging airlines for the feature.

“Over the next 12 months, we plan to phase out the Book on Google feature for Flights,” Google stated. “We originally offered this functionality to give people a simpler way to buy their tickets and to help our partner airlines and OTAs receive more bookings. However, we’ve found over time that people actually want to book directly on partner websites, and we always strive to meet user preferences whenever possible.”

Some pundits saw Book on Google as the company creeping toward becoming an online travel agency, but that never appeared to be the intent. Google makes too much money on travel advertising to want to directly compete with its biggest partners. Google also has no interest in dealing with flight changes and cancellations, or in providing customer service to stranded travelers.

Google ended Book on Google for hotels earlier in 2022.

Google launched Book on Google in 2015 as a way to facilitate bookings for airlines and online travel agencies in an era when many of their mobile websites weren’t particularly sophisticated.

But partners’ mobile capabilities have improved in the interim, and Google said it saw a declining share of flight bookings coming from the Book on Google feature.

Many metasearch sites over the years have tried these types of facilitated bookings for partner airlines and hotels, but with a few exceptions, such as HomeToGo in Germany, this type of feature has been waning for years.