Love Home Swap, a houseswapping service aimed at holidaymakers from 70 different countries, has been acquired by a division of Wyndham Worldwide for $53m (£40m).
The firm had raised £2.93m in equity investment, over four fundraisings, since its founding in 2009. MMC Ventures led its first round, and went on to invest twice subsequently, with its rounds comprising all but £25k of Love Home Swap’s total equity investment.
Particularly interesting about this exit is that it saw the company bought for several times its previous valuation of £5.27m, a figure taken just 15 months ago. That means Love Home Swap saw its value increase by 7.6x in the space of just over a year – impressive growth.
The deal, as reported by Tech Crunch, will see Deborah Wosskow (CEO) supplanted by her brother and co-founder, Benjamin. Deborah Wosskow is a co-founder of AllBright, the funding and education network designed to encourage and financially support female entrepreneurs. Wosskow is also the chair of industry body Sharing Economy UK, and recently authored the governmental report Unlocking the Sharing Economy.
The acquisition comes at an interesting time for high-growth companies in the sharing economy: investment in the sector has declined since its high-point of 40 fundraisings in 2015 (through 39 investments in 2016, and currently on 12 investments for the first half of this year):
Taken from the Beauhurst platform
The largest amount invested so far has been in 2015 (£67.8m), during which onefinestay, also a holiday company, raised $40m (£25.4m).