HomeAway buys Singapore-based startup Travelmob to help drive Asia Pacific growth

HomeAway, the global online marketplace for holiday rentals, is acquiring a majority stake in Singapore-based online startup Travelmob to expand in the Asia Pacific region.

The all-cash transaction will still leave the Travelmob management team a 37 per cent share in its business, and Travelmob will continue to operate as an independent brand from its Singapore headquarters.

The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed but HomeAway says it will spend around $2 million (£1.3m) to further grow the Travelmob business.

HomeAway had a previous relationship with Travelmob through a distribution partnership, announced in March this year.

The Travelmob site currently features over 14,000 Asia Pacific short-term rental listings, including luxury villas, urban apartments, houseboats, and even a private island.

The company was only founded last year. The online business supports 13 currencies and operates in the Bahasa, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese and English languages.

Early investors in the startup include Jungle Ventures, Accel Partners and private investors, including Dan Neary, vice-president of Asia Pacific at Facebook.

Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway, said: “Economists note over 100 million people will enter the Asian middle class in each of the next several years, and Asia will have an increasing influence over the world's economic growth."

Last year, HomeAway made a minority investment in China-based vacation rental company Tujia.com, in partnership with Ctrip.com International, a leading online travel service provider in China. HomeAway opened a sales office in Bangkok this April.