Swiss travel investor Viadi Group has acquired British luxury villa rental marketplace, Edge Retreats.
Based in London, venture-backed Edge Retreats was founded in 2013 and has a portfolio of 6,500 villas across over 50 countries.
Founded in 2022 by travel entrepreneurs Florian Steiger, Auret van Zyl and Oliver Corkhill, Viadi Group acquired majority stake in villa rentals company in the Carribbean, WhereToStay.com in January this year, and experiential tour operator, Explorations Company last year in 2022.
“The big picture is that the dry up of investment capital for pre-profitability companies is real, and is creating opportunities for companies that have cash,” said Carl Shepherd, the co-founder of HomeAway and board member on Edge Retreats. “The Edge Retreats experience crafted by Aurelie Leperuq is unique, with average order values many times higher than any of its competitors, net promoter scores that were off the charts high, repeat business that drives the brand. But cash to grow just wasn’t available. Until investors start to see the short-term rental category as desirable again, the opportunities lie with those who have cash on hand for acquisitions.”
Edge Retreats is headed by Aurelie Lepercq, who was formerly HomeAway’s European general Manager and then became the chief executive officer of Edge Retreats in 2018.
“Cross border acquisitions in STR are not new at all. We built HomeAway by buying the major sites in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, and Australia,” Shepherd added. “Awaze is the product of another company’s cross border acquisitions. All it means is that the acquirer has a use for the acquiree. Because travel is global, not local, cross border acquisitions make perfect sense as long as you have the ability to scale them.”