Evolve raises $100m to accelerate company growth

US: Denver-based vacation rental management company Evolve has raised $100 million in capital to accelerate its growth in North America.

The round was led by Maryland-based private equity firm Durable Capital Partners, and takes Evolve’s total funding to $235 million. That includes a previously undisclosed $25 million insider round which took place in spring 2020.

Claiming to be “the fastest-growing vacation rental hospitality company in North America”, Evolve is seeking to expand its portfolio of more than 19,000 vacation homes in 750+ markets, with each listing on its platform reportedly generating 38 per cent more revenue than the market average in 2021. It has also welcomed more than seven million guests to date.

The funding will also go towards enhancing the vacation rental booking experience and reassuring its guests through its Rest Easy Promise for guests and Risk-Free Guarantee for owners [an “industry-low” ten per cent management fee].

Brian Egan, co-founder and CEO of Evolve, said: “Evolve was built on the idea that guests and owners deserve a better vacation rental experience. We’re thrilled to see that our unique approach is now helping to grow the industry — 70 per cent of new Evolve owners in 2021 were first-time renters.

“Likewise, our hospitality has helped guests new to the category rest easy, as we outperform our peers with an average review score of 4.7 out of five stars.

“As we continue to scale properties on our platform, we’ll remain laser-focused on fulfilling consumers’ need for a trusted hospitality company in our category, making Evolve the go-to brand for vacation rentals,” he added.

Henry Ellenbogen, chief investment officer at Durable, said: “Evolve is at the forefront of the next wave of innovation in the vacation rental category. As a proven and disciplined operator with an extensive property network, large customer base, exacting standards and a compelling brand, Evolve is well positioned to grow and achieve sustainable, long-term success as a much larger company.”

Last July, Evolve announced the launch of its social responsibility initiative – the Building Hospitality programme – which donates one per cent of its website proceeds from every rental booked, in partnership with non-profit organisation Rebuilding Together. The initiative supports those in need, including the elderly, people with disabilities, low-income families and veterans, by repairing their homes to make them feel safe and comfortable.