HomeAway, the innovative vacation rental startup we’ve covered before, has invested $20 million in in social review startup Gogobot. Along with Battery Ventures and Redpoint Ventures, HomeAway aims to enhance profitability of the larger entity via restaurant and other ancillary recommendations.
Guides, or recommendations, curated by Gogobot’s community of travel experts, are the value proposition for Gogobot. The “expert experience” aspect of the two entities aligned, this should be an interesting competing combo for the likes of TripAdvisor and airbnb even.
News earlier this month from HomeAway revealed just how vested the company is in said ancillaries. HomeAway, Inc. announced plans to integrate with not only Gogobot, but with San Francisco based limo legend Uber, but personal grocery getting service Instacart. For those who’ve not made the connections here, what HomeAway has accomplished is a transformative guest experience, not to mention value.
Imagine every rental house or villa you ever stayed at transfigured into your very own luxury hotel experience! That’s right, all HomeAway needs now is me for a concierge. You stay at YOUR home on, Crete for instance, getting custom services packaged in by HomeAway. If the partnerships indicated here are economical and slick enough, HomeAway just took a chunk out of hotel revenues.
What’s interesting here will be just how fast airbnb and some other competitors jump on the bandwagon. And too, what hotels intend to do once their revenue flies out the window to better service and flexibility in homes and villas. This is one to watch.
Photo credit: HomeAway room service mashup – © Kzenon at Fotolia