The group, which is the parent company of brands such as Snaptrip, lastminute-cottages.com, laterooms.com and Dog Friendly Cottages, has bought the listing site for a reported “seven figure fee”, representing Snaptrip Group’s second acquisition in the last 12 months following the purchase of Hot Tub Hideaways for a similar sum last summer.
The news follows on from a period of sustained growth for Snaptrip Group since its founding in 2014. The group is aiming to use its latest acquisition to cultivate better direct relationships with holiday rental owners by combining its marketing capabilities with Independent Cottages’ platform to drive more bookings, and capitalise on the demand for domestic staycations.
Matt Fox, founder and CEO of the Snaptrip Group said: “Independent Cottages has been lovingly and brilliantly developed over the years, such that the technology is fantastic, the website traffic base and growth is excellent and the operational procedures work effortlessly. It is absolutely our plan to continue the great work that Sarah and Steve have done on the site and platform, building on their existing work and combining it with the operational and scale efficiencies that come from working within our group’s structure, generating a greater level of traffic and thus enquiries for owners.
“This acquisition aligns perfectly with our mission, to make taking a staycation easy and affordable for everybody, as the opportunity to connect holidaymakers directly with owners can only mean better deals for holidaymakers, whilst it also enables us to strategically build our own base of thousands of owners to supplement the many relationships we currently hold with property managers and agents,” he added.
Owners and founders of Independent Cottages, Sarah and Steve Jarvis said: “In the past few years, we have been approached by companies that have expressed an interest in buying our business, but we have never wanted to proceed. Last autumn, we were approached by Matt Fox [who we have got to know well over the years] who wanted to see if an acquisition was something we would consider.
“Following further assessment of his plans, we felt it made a lot of sense for the next phase of growth for Independent Cottages to be under the ownership of the Snaptrip Group and we’re both very excited for the future that they can give the business. Matt and his team have the resources and investment to really accelerate the growth of the website, so we fully believe it will be a very good thing for all our owners.
“We see our business moving from one small, personal, service-led company to another and hope that you can see why we felt it was the right time to take the opportunity to allow the company that we have built to progress to the next level,” they added.
Fox added: “The company is constantly on the lookout for acquisitions that fast track access to new niche markets, we will continue to look for acquisitions in the market which offer us the opportunity to broaden our customer base of both holiday makers and property partners for their mutual benefit.”
Last May, Snaptrip Group raised £2.1 million in a funding round led by Bestport Ventures and backed by Forward Partners, as well as a number of angel investors including former Active Hotels COO Matthew Witt. The group used part of the investment to fund its purchase of Last Minute Cottages.