Metasearcher Hometogo acquires Casamundo with Wimdu set to close

Worldwide: German-based holiday home metasearch company Hometogo has assumed control of Casamundo following the news of struggling Airbnb rival Wimdu’s imminent closure.

The Berlin-based Hometogo meta-search provider for holiday homes, searches 300 different websites with a total of 15 million offers, including major accommodation providers such as, the HomeAway group, TripAdvisor, e-domizil and TUI Villas.

The company has over 150 employees at its Hamburg base and operates in the USA, 12 European countries, Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Australia.

Hometogo founder and CEO Patrick Andrae is now stepping into the vacation rentals market by acquiring Casamundo from the @LeisureGroup (part of the Axel Springer media group) for an undisclosed sum. EuroRelais is also included in the transaction.

Casamundo offers more than 700,000 vacation rentals in destinations worldwide through local portals in Germany, Netherlands, UK, France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Sweden. However, it will remain a primary distribution partner for @Leisure Group’s brands like Belvilla, DanCenter and Danland.

Andrae said: “Casamundo has a great team and brand in the vacation rental industry in Germany and Europe. We’re looking forward to leveraging further synergies as a group and building the best vacation rental search experience in the market. Both Hometogo and Casamundo will benefit from one another as we move forward together.”

Tobias Wann, CEO of @Leisure Group, said: “Our strategy is focused on further developing our full-service propositions, such as Belvilla and DanCenter, and our self-service proposition Traum-Ferienwohnungen. Following this, the sale of Casamundo, with its different business model, is a logical step.”

None of the three companies involved in the transaction has disclosed information regarding booking volumes or revenues.

Meanwhile, German accommodation short-term rental ‘sharing’ platform Wimdu will close by the end of the year, citing ‘significant financial and business challenges’. It comes just two years after being acquired by holiday homes provider Novasol but the company insists it will complete existing bookings before stopping trading.

When it was founded eight years ago, Wimdu aimed to become a competitor for Airbnb but failed to secure sufficient bookings for its offering of city accommodation despite large-scale investment. Danish-based Novasol bought the company in 2016 to add accommodation in cities to its existing portfolio of holiday homes in predominantly coastal locations.

It is reported Novasol’s new owner, US financial investor Platinum Equity, was no longer prepared to finance Wimdu’s losses.

News of Wimdu’s closure followed the announcement that Bernd Muckenschnabel, the long-term head of Novasol, would retire from the board at the end of 2018. He is to be followed by Jan Hapaanen, who will be the CEO of the entire Novasol Group.