News: HomeAway puts travel giant into alternative accommodation space.
Travel company Expedia has acquired vacation rental service HomeAway and its other brands for $3.9bn in cash, and common stock.
The deal is expected to put Expedia in the spotlight of vacation rental service, competing with rent lodging veteran Airbnb.
Austin, Texas-based HomeAway is a 10-year old company which has more than a million paid vacation rental home listings in 190 countries.
Its portfolio includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com, VacationRentals.com in the US, and similar sites in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Asia, Brazil, and Australia.
Previously, HomeAway managed to raise $505m in five rounds of funding and went public in 2011.
Expedia has several travel brands under its belt, including Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz Worldwide, Travelocity and CarRentals.com.
The company acquired Travelocity for $280m, and Orbitz for $1.3bn last year to increase its presence in the competitive travel market.
In order to keep up with the boom of alternative accommodation services, Expedia began a pilot programme in 2014, listing 115,000 HomeAway vacation properties.
Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: "We have long had our eyes on the fast growing ~$100bn alternative accommodations space and have been building on our partnership with HomeAway, a global leader in vacation rentals, for two years.
"Bringing HomeAway into the Expedia family and adding its leading brands to our portfolio of the most trusted brands in travel is a logical next step.
"With our expertise in powering global transactional platforms and our industry-leading technology capabilities, we look forward to partnering with them to accelerate their shift from a classified marketplace to an online, transactional model to create even better experiences for HomeAway’s global traveler audience and the owners and managers of its 1.2 million properties around the world."