The pivot back to growth, with its fifth acquisition to date, comes just a couple of months after GuestReady closed the largest-ever equity crowdfunding campaign led by a Swiss venture. The group will manage a portfolio of more than 2800 properties post-acquisition, and plans to further consolidate the fragmented industry in the future.
GuestReady has risen to prominence in the short-term rental management landscape in just a few years since its launch in 2016, due to what it calls its “technological leadership and several key acquisitions amongst its European competitors”.
After focusing in 2020 on operational excellence and technological improvements, the acquisition of The Porto Concierge marks a clear pivot back to growth for GuestReady. In doing so, the company is moving closer to reaching its goal of 10,000 properties by 2023, in order to offer flexible living spaces to travellers, digital nomads, and mid-term tenants in most cities in Europe and eventually globally.
Founded in 2014, The Porto Concierge is the largest short-term rental management company in Portugal, known for its local expertise and significant footprint in Porto.
Since its launch, the company has generated more than €30 million in revenue for its property owners. The acquisition follows the closing in December 2020 of GuestReady’s crowdfunding campaign, which was the largest ever equity crowdfunding round led by a Swiss venture, raising over €2.4 million from over 800 investors, and the launch of the recent partnership with Airhosted, a leading Airbnb management company in Switzerland.
With a portfolio of 2800 properties across 20 cities, the purchase cements the leading position of GuestReady in the urban short-term rental management industry in Europe.
GuestReady CEO Alexander Limpert said: “We’ve been deeply impressed with the team, the portfolio and local setup that the founders of The Porto Concierge, Rui and Luis, have built over the years. We are excited and proud to welcome The Porto Concierge to the GuestReady Group.
“The Porto Concierge marks our fifth acquisition in less than four years. In such a new and dynamic industry it makes sense to team up with local leaders to continuously raise the bar, both for hosts and guests services alike,” he added.
The Porto Concierge CEO Rui Silva explained the motivations behind joining GuestReady Group: “We have been friendly competitors of GuestReady since 2018 and knew the Portuguese team well. The industry is consolidating at a fast pace and joining the technology leader in this space is a great opportunity to further accelerate our own growth.
“GuestReady’s technological expertise and best-in-class operational setup paired with our deep-rooted local market expertise will enable us to further improve our offering for our hosts and our guests. We’re excited to continue the journey from here on together,” he added.
The announcement comes one year after the Covid-19 pandemic put the handbrake on four years of unprecedented growth in the industry for GuestReady. Adapting to the situation, the company used the time to work on operational excellence and further developing their technology, preparing for their next stage of rapid growth.
Limpert said: “We are always developing ways to leverage technology to automate non-core processes. The goal is to increase efficiency, scalability, and to free up resources towards delivering amazing experiences for hosts and guests.
“In 2020, we for example centralised the guest messaging structure, and introduced smart locks,” he added.
While the company was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020, it adapted to the evolving circumstances and weathered the storm due to its presence across different seasonal geographies and revenue-share model strategy, as opposed to master leasing.
Limpert said: “Whilst fast growth always was at the center of our strategy, we perceived the master lease model that several of our competitors opted for as carrying too much systematic risk. Low probability but high risk, and this is exactly what we saw unfold during this pandemic.”
The entire team of The Porto Concierge will join the GuestReady Group, both in local and global roles.
Limpert said: “This acquisition is truly about growth, not cost savings. The Porto Concierge has built a brilliant team over the years, and we’re excited to all be working together from this point forward.”
The GuestReady Group will further consolidate the industry in Europe by teaming up with the best local and regional service providers both through acquisitions and commercial partnerships based on revenue share models. The company employs more than 100 staff across all markets and is currently hiring.