wimdu
1170 days ago
 

Wimdu captures mammoth $90M funding round for apartment rental push

Looks like investment bragging rights belong to apartment rental service Wimdu after confirming an eye-watering $90 million funding round ahead of rival Airbnb making its own deal official.

wimdu

Rumours of a $100 million+ funding round for the Silicon Valley-based Airbnb have circulated for a few weeks, but the company has so far refused to comment on the speculation.

Confirmation of Wimdu’s trousering of a massive $90 million came this morning from an official in its office in Beijing, China. The round comes from European investors Kinnevik from Sweden and Rocket Internet in Germany.

The official declined to outline what the company intends to do with such a large influx of capital, but presumably it will help fuel a major expansion programme for the fledgling startup.

In two months the company has already managed to secure a presence in ten offices around the world and it claims to have around 10,000 properties listed from 30 countries.

But it’s growth and dramatic plop into the marketplace appears to be irritating its rival on the US west coast (and in the Silicon Valley tech press, who consistently refer to Wimdu as a clone), with Airbnb supposedly sending emails to customers warning them about “imposter websites”.

Nevertheless, Airbnb has not exactly covered itself in glory in recent weeks after admitting that a number of rogue contract salespeople had used somewhat stealthy tactics to capture new properties owners via US classified service Craigslist.

In terms of the wider marketplace, with Wimdu capturing its funding round, Airbnb apparently on the brink of its own deal, European startup 9Flats recently securing $10 million and mega-brand HomeAway heading into an IPO, those holding the investment capital are clearly seeing vacation rental as the place to put their money.

This is not forgetting TripAdvisor’s focus in the sector, of course, with it snapping up the UK firm HolidayLettings in June 2010 as part of its own efforts to grow the vacation rental wing of the business.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. TOFU Tech | TOFU tech knowledge sharing

    [...] article, however, was exactly how big Wimdu has gotten after only a year in business, aided by a massive $90 million funding round from Sweden’s Kinnevik and Rocket Internet secured in June 2011 (at a slightly [...]

     
  2. Airbnb buys UK apartment rental service Crashpadder | londonflatrent.com

    [...] companies cumulative large investment rounds final year – $90 million for Wimdu and $112 million for Airbnb - and are clearly aiming during substantiating a foothold in as many [...]

     
  3. Toki Solutions » Broadcast & Technology Solutions Partner » After one year, Airbnb rival Wimdu is big. How big? $132 million a year big

    [...] article, however, was exactly how big Wimdu has gotten after only a year in business, aided by a massive $90 million funding round from Sweden’s Kinnevik and Rocket Internet secured in June 2011 (at a slightly more [...]

     
  4. After one year, Airbnb rival Wimdu is big. How big? $132 million a year big – - Tech News AggregatorTech News Aggregator

    [...] article, however, was exactly how big Wimdu has gotten after only a year in business, aided by a massive $90 million funding round from Sweden’s Kinnevik and Rocket Internet secured in June 2011 (at a slightly more [...]

     
  5. Blog ALL » After one year, Airbnb rival Wimdu is big. How big? $132 million a year big

    [...] article, however, was exactly how big Wimdu has gotten after only a year in business, aided by a massive $90 million funding round from Sweden’s Kinnevik and Rocket Internet secured in June 2011, notably when [...]

     
  6. Airbnb buys UK apartment rental service Crashpadder – Tnooz « Apartments Rental

    [...] companies secured massive investment rounds last year – $90 million for Wimdu and $112 million for Airbnb - and are clearly aiming at establishing a foothold in as many cities [...]

     
  7. Wimdu: Lack of innovation in travel, Airbnb and us poised to win | Tnooz

    [...] company says its own recent windfall of $90 million in capital and this week’s confirmation of $112 million heading the way of Airbnb illustrates the [...]

     
  8. Airbnb captures $112M funding round, wants global domination | Tnooz

    [...] The round was financed by Andressen Horowitz, DST Global and General Catalyst and is over $20 million more than the $90 million secured by rival Wimdu in mid-June. [...]

     
  9. China search giant Baidu takes travel seriously with $306M punt on Qunar | Tnooz

    [...] some industry folk in the western hemisphere gasp at levels of money being thrown into the likes of Wimdu and Airbnb, over in China there are even bigger sums in [...]

     
  10. May

    Really @kevin? Did you even look at the site? They ripped off the entire interface and even the how it works video. How can you not say this is a clone? Check your glasses.

     
    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @may – hey there, help me out a little bit: please point to the precise part of the story where I suggest Wimdu is not a clone??

      I have my glasses on…

      Anyway, the more that people say Wimdu ripped off this and Wimdu cloned that and Wimdu is evil, etc, etc, then the more inclined I am to agree with the comments of the exec I spoke to (mentioned in the comments above).

      Maybe Airbnb should just get on with doing what it’s doing, finally nail the funding round, be grateful for but not swayed by the fawning of the west coast tech press, enjoy the ride and realise business is business – and it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

      Interestingly, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted me yesterday with a simple message: “Not worried”.

      Sounds like it’s Airbnb groupies that are more concerned about Wimdu than Chesky.

       
  11. Andy

    And the main word in this little saga is……differentiation, easier to say than spell!

    Innovation will keep you ahead and others in your wake. Let the market decide. There are lots of search systems but only one that counts. Google are a prime example of expert marketing and innovative practice, especially for such a big business. They stay ahead because they innovate and market aggressively.

     
  12. Kevin Fliess

    Accused of being a close?! It is a clone. I have never seen a more egregious UI knock-off than Wimdu. It is IDENTICAL to AirBnB. That kind of rote copycat behavior is scary / sleazy and if it’s any indication of how they do business, I’d say buyer beware.

     
    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @kevin – hummmmmm…

      So did the press and industry give Kayak a hard time because it looked kinda like Sidestep all those years ago?

      And are any of the major OTAs clones of one other?

      We have a saying here in the UK (maybe in the US, too): Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

      If the vacation rental industry is so buoyant (or if VCs are willing to plough hundreds of millions of dollars into it), then surely it can and should support multiple brands, not least to offer competition to consumers?

      And if Wimdu isn’t a robust business, as you suggest, then surely time will tell and users and property owners will leave in their droves, very quickly?

      As one CEO in the UK remarked privately to me, after reading the TC story about Airbnb’s recent email to subscribers, warning them about other sites: “For goodness sake, welcome to capitalism, Airbnb – get over it.”

       
      • Kevin Fliess

        Kevin – all fair points. And yes, we say the same thing over here in the States. It will be interesting to see the market shake out. I guess it’s similar to the daily deals space — low barrier to entry plus loads of capital leads to lots of competition and then a wave of consolidation.

         
      • Me

        Totally agree. If I were to try and build a business that big that quickly, I might phase it in the exact same way… keep what works, do it quickly, then differentiate. And I’m not sure wimdu or ABB should really be that concerned about what the other is doing…they should fear their main competitor…hotels. Time will tell about how and when consolidation will happen here.

        In my mind, expedia,travelocity,orbitz etc. all do the same thing and i think they all are pretty awesome businesses.

         
        • Carla

          Guess what? They make reservations with Airbnb hosts and then send an email about their website… It’s pretty low to steal customers that way.

           
  13. Andy

    Kevin,

    It seems the money is flowing in for start ups. Sadly in the direction of the States. We seem to be lagging behind in the UK and failing to see the potential of this huge and growing market. Maybe I need a visit to Dragons den!?!?!?!

    That is until you read about eviivo who have secured a paltry £30 million investment from a Dubai financial invester. Small change when you look at the figures in the States.

    The market for private holiday lets is growing exponentially and the money men know it.

     
 
 

Newsletter Subscription

Please subscribe now to Tnooz’s FREE daily newsletter.

This lively package of news and information from Tnooz’s web site provides a convenient digest of what’s happening in technology that drives the global travel, tourism and hospitality market.

  • Cancel