Expedia acquires two home rental startups in fight with Airbnb

The firm acquired Pillow and ApartmentJet for an undisclosed amount

Oct.October 25, 2018 03:30 PM

Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom (Credit: Expedia Group and iStock)

Online travel booking firm Expedia is increasing its bet on the short-term home rental industry, acquiring startups Pillow and ApartmentJet this week.

Expedia already operates HomeAway, and the latest acquisitions represent a double-barreled attempt at stealing away some of rival Airbnb‘s market share. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Expedia said that its latest acquisitions “will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two startups enable property owners to monitor short-term rentals in their buildings. Pillow, which is based in San Francisco, helps tenants to rent their apartments without violating the terms of their leases. The company completed a $13.5 million funding round last year. Its backers include Mayfield, Gary Vaynerchuck, Sterling.VC and Peak Capital Partners. Meanwhile, ApartmentJet, which is based in Chicago, performs background checks on renters and provides insurance coverage. The company previously had a partnership with Airbnb. It raised $1.2 million in a recent funding round.

Expedia bought Homeaway for $3.9 billion in 2015 and quickly upgraded the company’s technology and expanded its offerings from vacation rentals to homes in cities. HomeAway, which raised $505 million before going public in 2011, now operates in 190 countries. It has about 1.7 million listings in total, according to Expedia’s second quarter report.

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