(Updated to reflect comment from HomeAway)
HomeAway, an online marketplace for vacation rentals, had made a purchase that will give it key resources in two important aspects of its business: customer management and mobile solutions.
The company has acquired mobile guest management solution Glad To Have You, it was announced on Tuesday. No financial terms of the deal have been disclosed, but it seems as though HomeAway is going to be fully integrating the service into its existing properties by making Glad's mobile apps available to its property managers and owners.
Those apps will be free to HomeAway customer, but will cost non-HomeAway customers $9.99 month, or $99.99 a year.
Glad's apps are designed to allow owners and property managers a way to reach out, communicate with and keep track of their guests. The app gathers real-time knowlegde of what their guests like and care about, allowing the owners to market directly to the the.
Glad offers two versions of its app: GladOwners and Glad Professionals
Both apps include the ability to sending out detailed rental logisitics to guest prior to their stay, including check-in/out instructions, important phone numbers, property access information, Wi-Fi passwords, and instructions for using AV equipment and other electronics. Glad also sends guests customized recommendations for nearby activities, restaurants and attractions, as well as a map of the area.
GladProfessional, which is designed for property managers, come with additional scale to help manage a large inventory of properties.
Additional features include the ability to send out push notifications to guests both before, and throughout, their stay. That can include notifications about early check-in opportunities, for example, and it allows them to have instant communications with the property manager.
Guests can also submit cleaning and maintenance requests, while property managers can capture and learn guests’ dining or activity preferences and send them special offers.
It's easy to see why HomeAway would be interested in Glad's apps. Not only do they improve HomeAway's customer service experience, they also help to enhance its mobile capabilities.
Austin, Texas-based HomeAway is kind of like Airbnb except exclusively for fully-furnished vacation rentals. Users simply select where and when you want to go, how many bedrooms, and how many beds and HomeAway digs up properties for them.
Founded in 2005, HomeAway lists more than 773,000 rentals from 171 countries, and operates websites around the world, including VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es, Toprural.com in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; and HomeAway.com.au in Australia.
Before going public in 2011, the company raised $513 million, including a $250 million round of funding from Technology Crossover Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures in 2008.
This is the company's third aquisition in the past year. In July of last year it bought travelmob, an online start-up for vacation rental properties in Asia Pacific for an undisclosed amount. In December HomeAway picked up Australian vacation rental company the Stayz Group. The company was purchased from Fairfax Digital for $198 million.
Founded in 2012, Glad raised $855,000 in a partial close that same year. The company reached 300 clients in October of last year.
HomeAway and Glad To Have You were unavailable for further comment.
(Image source: gladtohaveyou.com)