Germany / France: Vacation rental booking portal Holidu has signed a strategic partnership between its subsidiary Bookiply, a platform specialising in the management of vacation accommodation, and French startup Sportihome, a platform for sporting holidays.
Under the terms of the partnership, Bookiply and Holidu will provide the technological framework for the Sportihome website, while Sportihome will contribute with its knowledge of the French market and sports tourism.
In order to make finding and booking accommodation for sports vacations as easy and reliable as possible, the collaboration is set to mark the start of a new chapter in the French vacation home market, enabling hosts and customers to enjoy benefits while expanding the Sportihome offer in the European market. Furthermore, it is designed to help individuals and professional vacation rental companies manage their bookings by providing them with the best tools and services to accelerate their growth.
Founded in 2017, Sportihome provides a booking platform for sporting enthusiasts and a guide to inspire them on the best spots to take up new activities. Renters can choose from accommodations with hosts who are themselves passionate about sport, as well as participate in activities and rent / buy sporting equipment from partners.
The Montpellier-based startup now offers over 70,000 vacation rentals and provides access to more than 20 outdoor sports.
As a result of the integration, Sportihome hosts will benefit from increased visibility and a number of advantages in the management of their accommodation. In particular, it will allow them to:
- Post their advert on Sportihome as well as on the main booking portals
- Synchronise all calendars
- Have centralised management of payment transactions
- Benefit from an optimisation service for their adverts [description, price, discount etc], as well as translation into seven languages
- Access to free professional photos, depending on the location of the accommodation
Bookiply, a German company based in Munich, also relies on its teams based in Marseille, Rennes, Bordeaux, Lyon and Montpellier. The partnership is all the more fitting because the founders of both companies share a love of sports.
Sportihome COO Sylvain Morel said: “Sports tourism is experiencing the fastest growth in the travel industry. More and more customers are interested in sports activities during their trip, whether it is the main purpose of the vacation or not. Therefore, the main players in the vacation home rental sector are trying to attract vacation home owners.
As part of the strategic partnership, we will support Holidu and Bookiply with our expertise in sports tourism – including our community sports guide, our sports accommodation categories and our partnerships with sports equipment manufacturers. With the help of Holidu and Bookiply, we will have the opportunity to expand on a European scale,” he added.
Sportihome CEO Fred Diaw said: “Before becoming founders of Sportihome, Sylvain and I were hosts ourselves, hosting nearly 300 travellers each year in our home. When we launched Sportihome in 2017, our goal was to create a solution that would allow us to receive bookings from people with whom we share a passion for sports. This made the experience more sociable and human.
“However, as the volume of bookings grew, we saw more and more hosts struggling to keep their listings up to date on the various platforms because they lacked the time and complexity. For us, technology had to provide a simple, reliable solution.
“That’s why our meeting with Johannes and Michael went very naturally, as we share many common values, including in the field of sports. It quickly became clear that combining our respective expertise through a long-term partnership was the right decision.
“Today we are very proud to be able to offer such a comprehensive solution and service to our guests with Bookiply. We hope they will use the time they have gained for even more sports,” he added.
Holidu CEO Johannes Siebers said: “This partnership is also very satisfying for us personally, as my brother Michael and I founded Holidu in 2014 during a surf trip looking for beach accommodation in Portugal. Sportihome’s knowledge of sports tourism will help us provide European travellers with the best and most innovative solution to make life easier for hosts and visitors.
“We are very excited to join forces with the team to jointly build the leading European provider for booking vacation homes for sports enthusiasts. In terms of sales and bookings, France is one of the largest and most important markets for Holidu and our subsidiary Bookiply is also growing very fast there.
“Our Bookiply guests express great satisfaction with the product and our accommodations receive excellent reviews,” he added.
Sportihome previously closed a €2 million investment round in November 2021, led by alternative investment fund Accurafy 4, Nathalie Simon [ a TV presenter and former windsurfing champion], la Banque des Territoires [part of the groupe Caisse des Dépôts] and public investment bank Bpifrance.