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Former Booking.com CEO Kees Koolen backed Holidu bags £32M as British staycations boom

Holidu

Holidu, the German search engine for holiday rentals is one of the world’s fastest-growing travel tech startups. Now, the company has announced that it secured £32 million Series D funding to fuel its expansion plans.

Eyes to expand holiday rental software business

The investment round was led by 83North, which has backed global category leaders including Wolt, Mirakl and JustEat. Also, existing investors including Prime Ventures, EQT ventures, Coparion, Senovo, Former Booking.com CEO Kees Koolen, Lios Ventures and Chris Hitchen. Claret Capital (formerly Harbert European Growth Capital) also participated in the round.

Holidu will use the funds to accelerate the profitable growth of its holiday rental search engine and expand its holiday rental software business with Bookiply. The company plans to double its technology organisation and to invest in new partnerships for supply acquisition best to meet the increased demand of travellers for private accommodation. It is eyeing to open new further Bookiply offices across Europe to offer the best possible service for regional holiday rental owners.

Johannes Siebers, CEO and Co-founder of Holidu, said: “The desire to travel again is huge and holiday rentals are perfectly suited to serve the rebound. Despite ongoing lock-downs, our bookings in 2021 are already significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and we expect demand to soar this summer. With Bookiply we have become the number one supplier of holiday rentals in several regions. Thanks to our regional approach and our technologically optimised processes, we are able to economically acquire new holiday rentals. This round of financing is a testament to how far we’ve come in that regard, and how much opportunity is still ahead of us.”

Co-founder and Holidu CTO Michael Siebers added: “We have been quick to build new features that users want in the current situation, for example, flexible cancellation and payment solutions. With this funding, we will invest further in product development and will double our technology organisation.”

Laurel Bowden, Partner at 83North commented: “Holiday rentals are a very competitive market and Holidu’s growth throughout the pandemic has been highly impressive. We are attracted by their strong operating efficiency and proven ability to grow market by market. As early backers of global category leaders like Wolt, Mirakl and JustEat we believe Holidu and Bookiply can build a similar position in the vacation rental market. We look forward to the road ahead and I’m glad to be on their board.”

Growth in the UK!

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic leaving a dent in the travel industry, in 2020 Holidu’s revenues grew substantially compared to 2019. Especially, its search business became operationally profitable. In July 2020, over 27 million travellers used the Holidu website, making it one of the largest platforms for holiday rentals worldwide.

Regarding the company’s plans for the UK market in 2021, Siebers also told UKTN, “Holidu’s growth was particularly evident in the UK market, where revenues tripled in 2020 compared to 2019. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2021 as British staycations boom. Holidu is focused on growing its inventory network to onboard and partner with even more local property managers to provide the best possible choice of rentals throughout the UK and abroad.”

Founded by brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers in 2014, the company’s mission is to make the search and booking of holiday rentals easy. Holidu is active in 21 countries with its search engine that combines more than 15 million holiday rental offers from over a thousand travel sites and property managers.