Denmark: Danish premium holiday home rental platform Landfolk has closed a seed funding round of €3.8 million [$4 million] from SEED Capital, its second round of capital since the startup was founded just two years ago.
In a depressed investment climate, Landfolk has been able to secure funding and with it, it aims to become Europe’s preferred platform for premium holiday homes.
In just two years, Landfolk has grown from zero to more than 1000 handpicked holiday homes across Denmark, Norway and Germany, with a plan in place to double that number this year. Despite this, only 60 per cent of the holiday home owners who apply to become part of Landfolk make it through the eye of the needle.
Landfolk CEO Christian Schwarz Lausten said: “We handpick our holiday homes based on carefully selected criteria that attract both new holiday home guests and holiday home owners. These include owners who would never think of renting through a traditional platform or letting agency, and a new generation of second home owners who have put a huge amount of energy and resources into decorating and making their holiday home personal and attractive.”
Currently, only one fifth of Danish holiday homes are rented out, and that figure is even lower in Germany and Norway. 70 per cent of the holiday homes on Landfolk’s platform have either never been rented out before or are not rented out on other platforms.
SEED Capital managing partner Ulla Brockenhuus-Schack said: “It’s really exciting to see Landfolk shake up an industry that has been stagnant for far too long. They have managed to create a company in just two years with impressive turnover by, among other things, expanding the market with a segment that has never previously rented out their holiday home, and a team that manages to execute like few others.”
According to an analysis from the Danish Coastal and Nature Tourism Association, this corresponds to one full-time job every time three new holiday homes are added to the rental market. Expanding the rental market therefore also has positive socio-economic effects.
Landfolk says that it will use the investment to develop its product and technology even further, making it one of the market’s strongest digital platforms that makes it easier to rent out one’s holiday homes in an “ultra modern” way.
“Over the past three months, we have launched Landfolk in Germany and Norway, where apparently we have hit a gap in the market; it is pouring in with homeowners for whom it is extremely important to have great flexibility and control over the rental of their secondary home. It will be a big and exciting task to support them in which we will invest a lot of resources,” added Schwarz Lausten.
SEED Capital supports high ambitions, as Brockenhuus-Schack concludes: “We have tremendous experience investing in Danish startups like Trustpilot, Vivino and Lunar – all of which have become unicorns. So there is plenty for Landfolk to live up to.”
Landfolk was founded in February 2021 by seven experienced co-founders, all of whom have worked at Airbnb. A number of the co-founders played a part in selling their original business to Airbnb back in 2019, meeting booking site Gaest, and in the aftermath of coronavirus and Airbnb closing down half of its offices worldwide, they decided to embark on a new startup journey.
Landfolk’s platform is a curation of handpicked and unique holiday homes and cabins for those who want “one-of-a-kind experiences” in harmony and nature. The houses on the platform must meet four criteria – personality, scenic surroundings, great hosts and consistent quality.
Today, Landfolk’s platform has more than 1000 holiday homes across Denmark, Norway and Germany. The company has an office in Aarhus, Denmark, with 40 employees.
In addition to the founders and SEED Capital, HEARTLAND has also previously invested in Landfolk.
Anders Boelskifte Mogensen, one of the co-founders of Landfolk, and founder and CEO of Founderment, participated in a STRz webinar on ‘The price is REIT: Investment trends in the STR sector’ in October 2022 – view the recording in full at this link.