As well as making the search and booking of holiday rentals as easy as possible, the merger of the businesses will provide another boost to the ongoing growth of the Holidu Group. Holidu is now active in 21 markets with its eponymous search engine for holiday rentals and is expanding rapidly.
With the acquisition, Holidu’s subsidiary Bookiply, which provides software and services for holiday home owners, will considerably expand its customer base and become one of the market leaders in the brokerage and management of properties in Spain.
Holidu CEO Johannes Siebers said: “After our first conversations with the Spain-Holiday board, it quickly became clear that we share the same mission: to finally make the search and booking of holiday rentals easy. This is because the holiday home market is still not fully transparent and technologically lags behind other markets.
“With the acquisition of Spain-Holiday, we are writing a new chapter for both companies, in which we are expanding our innovative technologies and unique service in the holiday rental market Europe-wide. We welcome our new colleagues from the Spain-Holiday team and look forward to working together on our mission,” he added.
Jannich Friis Petersen, CEO of Spain-Holiday, said: “Both Spain-Holiday and Holidu aim to support holiday home owners in a professional yet simple way. The new partnership will help holiday home owners and their properties gain much more visibility.
“Holidaymakers will benefit from improved service thanks to Holidu’s technology, such as direct booking options,” he added.
Claus Sørensen, the founder of Spain-Holiday, explained that extensive knowledge of the market and close relationships with the landlords were decisive factors for success: “At Spain-Holiday, we have focused on private holiday home rentals from the very beginning and sought personal interaction with the landlords. This approach has made Spain-Holiday one of the leading rental portals in the Spanish market.
“The acquisition provides both landlords and guests with an even more powerful portal that scores with top technology and customer service,” he added.
Darius Abde Yazdani, vice president operations and strategy at Bookiply, said: “From the first contact with the Spain-Holiday team, it was clear to us that both companies have very complementary strengths and that a merger of both businesses will lead to sustainable, strong growth.”
Founded in 2002 in Málaga, Spain-Holiday is one of the leading online portals in the management of holiday homes in Spain. Its Málaga-based branch will continue to operate and “a large majority” of the Spain-Holiday team is expected to remain.
Holidu says that it will continue to operate the portal and use its technology platform to give the website a further boost.
It is anticipated that holiday home owners who have previously listed their accommodation on Spain-Holiday will receive “significantly more visibility and many advantages in the management of their property with the integration”, including marketing on all major booking portals, synchronisation of calendars and central management of payment transactions.
Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Holidu Group reported that it had been operating profitably since May 2020, and by August 2021, the group had recorded a 2.6-fold growth compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019.
This May, the holiday search engine revealed that it had secured $45 million [€37 million / £32 million] in a Series D funding round led by 83North with participation from existing investors, which took the company’s total funding to more than €100 million since its inception in 2014.
Meanwhile, former Booking.com CEO Koolen invested more than €4 million in Holidu from his personal fund the previous September.