The companies did not disclose the terms of the sale. MyVR investors, who had raised approximately $ 7.5 million in funding, have sold their holdings. Guesty said he is keeping all of the MyVR employees.
The deal makes the merged company the largest maker of short-term rental property management software in the world, the companies said.
“When we say leader, we mean by the number of ads connected, by booking volumes and by funding,” Vered Schwarz, President and COO of Guesty. “We are creating a mega-brand for short-term rental technology.”
The US market represents more than half of each brand’s customer base, although the companies also operate in dozens of other countries.
More general trend in short-term rentals
This acquisition highlights a market under the software radar. As travelers turn to Airbnb and its competing booking sites for apartments, they are increasingly looking for professionally managed and licensed units – with clean towels, contemporary furnishings, and a touchless entry. Full-time property managers are increasingly turning to software to help them manage their growing short-term rental empire – an opportunity that Guesty and other startups are looking to exploit.
As alternative accommodation moves from alternate guesthouses and cabins to institutional real estate, venture capital is supporting manufacturers of digital tools for this segment.
Guesty and MyVR primarily target full-time property managers rather than hobbyist or individual hosts. Startups have tools that help managers in their operations, such as monitoring housekeeping assignments. They also offer marketing help, such as how to optimize listings on booking services like Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo.
Guesty was founded in 2013 at Combiner Y, a startup accelerator in San Francisco. It raised $ 35 million in Series C funding in early 2019.
“We didn’t get that money when the pandemic started because we were very efficient and we were growing really well,” said Schwarz.
“So we entered the pandemic with a very big cash cushion,” Schwarz said. “This has allowed us to remain calm and take the necessary steps to continue to grow during the pandemic.”
MyVR, which also launched at Y Combinator, has been a rival to Guesty. The companies have had overlapping products, but MyVR has focused more on tools to help property managers market online, such as with a website builder. In contrast, Guesty focused more on operational aspects, such as inventory management and digital communication with customers.
Schwarz said management should review the strengths and weaknesses of different brands’ products. But the first instinct of leaders is to maintain both brands.
“Right now we think we’ll find a way to give different flavors of offers to different types of customers and differentiate between Guesty and MyVR offers to deliver the right product to the right customers,” Schwarz said.
Perhaps MyVR could focus more on managers with smaller portfolios. Instead, Guesty might focus on catering to corporate clients, such as multi-unit building owners. Guesty has seen several of its biggest clients acquire more apartment units in recent years. Over the past year, the company has developed more tools to streamline the collection and analysis of data for accounting and financial reporting, which is more of a burden for large management companies.
Guesty’s management will continue to focus on serving the short-term rental and vacation markets, Schwarz said.
Staying focused, however, is not easy for any company in the industry. The lines separating short-term rentals and vacation rentals from other categories of travel are becoming increasingly blurred. Traditional hotel stays, extended stay apartments and outdoor offerings like glamping are increasingly attracting interest from investors who also hold overlapping portfolios in alternative accommodation.
Over the past year, Guesty has added features to help property managers with multi-unit listings organize their inventory lots. In some cases, the startup is targeting these tools at owners of complete buildings who offer rental apartments managed as “apart-hotels”.
“Managing multiple units seems like a minor thing, but it’s very complex on the back end,” said Schwarz.
But the company says it isn’t trying to do everything for everyone with its software. He especially doesn’t try to serve traditional hotels, which may have a centralized group of housekeepers and a centralized restaurant or catering service.
“We are not targeting hostels and we are not targeting large hotels or hotel groups,” said Schwarz. “We focus on full-time professional property managers with short-term rental inventory, who can have their units distributed to different addresses or who can own multi-family units, some of which are available for rental to travelers. “
“Some of our customers have grown into larger companies, particularly in the United States, thanks to the growth of Airbnb and the post-pandemic recovery,” said Schwarz. “So we developed more sophisticated software to meet their changing needs.”
Photo credit: A Nord brand apartment hotel in København, Denmark. Nord uses Guesty as a technology provider. Guesty, a startup that simplifies the operation and marketing of short-term rental and vacation rental, has bought MyVR, its smaller rival. North