Holidu secures $45m in Series D funding round

Germany: Munich-based holiday search engine Holidu has announced that it has secured $45 million [€37 million / £32 million] in Series D funding.

The round of investment was led by 83North with participation from existing investors Prime Ventures, EQT ventures, Coparion, Senovo, Kees Koolen, Lios Ventures and Chris Hitchen. Claret Capital [formerly Harbert European Growth Capital] also participated with both equity and debt.

The new investment brings the company’s total funding to more than 100 million euros since its foundation.

Former Booking.com CEO Koolen invested more than €4 million into the company from his personal fund last September.

Holidu, which is active in 21 countries, aims to make the search and booking of holiday rentals as easy as possible. Its search engine combines more than 15 million holiday rental offers from over a thousand travel sites and property managers.

Under the Bookiply brand, the company also helps holiday rental owners to get more bookings with less effort through a software-and-service solution.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the travel industry especially hard, Holidu’s revenues in 2020 grew substantially compared to 2019. Moreover, its search business became operationally profitable.

In July 2020 alone, more than 27 million travellers used the Holidu website, making it one of the largest platforms for holiday rentals worldwide.

This growth was particularly evident in the UK market, where revenues tripled in 2020 compared to 2019. Bookiply also significantly expanded its customer base of holiday rental owners and has become the largest supplier of holiday rentals in important leisure destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and Sardinia.

The new funding will enable Holidu to further accelerate both the profitable growth of its holiday rental search engine and the expansion of its holiday rental software business with Bookiply.

The company said that it plans to double its technology organisation and to invest in new partnerships for supply acquisition to best meet the increased demand of travellers for private accommodation.

To offer the best possible service for regional holiday rental owners, the company is opening further Bookiply offices across Europe.

Johannes Siebers, CEO and co-founder of Holidu, said: “The desire to travel again is huge and holiday rentals are perfectly suited to serve the rebound.

“Despite ongoing lock -downs, our bookings in 2021 are already significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels of 2019 and we expect demand to soar this summer. With Bookiply we have become the number one supplier of holiday rentals in several regions.

“Thanks to our regional approach and our technologically optimised processes, we are able to economically acquire new holiday rentals. This round of financing is a testament to how far we’ve come in that regard, and how much opportunity is still ahead of us,” he added.

Co-founder and CTO of Holidu, Michael Siebers, said: “We have been quick to build new features that users want in the current situation, for example, flexible cancellation and payment solutions. With this funding, we will invest further in product development and will double our technology organisation.”

Laurel Bowden, Partner at 83North, said: “Holiday rentals are a very competitive market and Holidu’s growth throughout the pandemic has been highly impressive. We are attracted by their strong operating efficiency and proven ability to grow market by market.

“As early backers of global category leaders like Wolt, Mirakl and JustEat, we believe Holidu and Bookiply can build a similar position in the holiday rental market. We look forward to the road ahead and I’m glad to be on their board,” added Bowden.

Last week, Holidu also announced the appointment of former Booking.com regional director for North America, Stephen Thresh, as its new managing director for North America, as part of its growth strategy into the United States.