- Love Home Swap
Love Home Swap, a home exchange company founded in the UK, has been acquired by holiday timeshare firm RCI, a division of the Wyndham Worldwide hospitality company.
Founded in 2011 by Debbie Wosskow, Love Home Swap’s platform allows people to exchange high-end homes with other Love Home Swap members for an annual fee.
The value of the acquisition was not disclosed but a Business Insider source with knowledge of the deal put it at around £40 million.
The deal, which has been in the pipeline for over a year, comes after Wyndham invested a reported £7.5 million into Love Home Swap in June 2015.
“I’d like to thank the team and everyone involved in driving Love Home Swap forward,” said Wosskow in a statement.
“Dedication and hard work has yielded fantastic results in a short space of time and this is a real global success story for the UK sharing economy. We’re delighted to join the RCI family and are excited to work closely with them to help shape the future of the travel industry together.”
Wosskow, who has recently set up her own platform called AllBright to fund female founders, will remain an advisor while her brother Ben Wosskow has been appointed to managing director and will oversee the daily operations of the business.
“Since first pioneering the vacation exchange concept more than 40 years ago, RCI has continually found new ways to evolve and grow its own business while also propelling the exchange industry further,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI, in a statement. “Through this acquisition we expand the exchange options we offer travellers and strengthen our footprint in key growth markets across the globe.”
The deal is further evidence that large hotel chains are interested in startups. Last April, Onefinestay – a London startup that lets people stay in expensive, serviced houses in cities around the world – was acquired by AccorHotels, Europe’s largest hotel group, for around £120 million.
It has been welcomed by some of Love Home Swap’s early investors, including venture capital firm MMC Ventures.
Bruce Macfarlane, managing partner at MMC Ventures, said: “Today’s announcement is a great testament to the team’s focus and determination and we are delighted to have supported the company on this journey.”