Holiday rental site LaComunity.com raised €800,000 ($894,000 U.S.) in funding. Barcelona-based LaComunity was founded in 2013 with the intent of challenging the likes of HomeAway and AirBnB in the Spanish market.
The latest round brings the company’s total investment to date to about €1.5 million ($1.65 million U.S.). According to investment news site Web Capital Riesgo, the latest round was led by investment group Principal 1a, the three Family Offices that form part of the private investment group Reus Tarragona Business Angels, tourist group Soifler, Argos Ventures, and RTV Group.
Earlier this year Classified Intelligence Report profiled the company, and interviewed founder Francesc Sanz Puigdemont, who at the time said , “The existing [holiday rental] brands didn’t offer great user experience, you paid owners directly for bookings which wasn’t safe. My idea was a model where safety came first. Users don’t want surprises”.
LaComunity is designed to combat fraud and risk in the vacation-rental experience. Rather than simply facilitating bookings between property owners and guests, it takes responsibility for the whole transaction. Unlike its competitors, it only lists properties that have tourist licenses in accordance with regional Spanish law.
This requires extra effort to check each property’s status, and reduces the pool of available properties. However, Sanz reckoned the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
“We focus on big companies who rent vacation accommodation. These clients have bigger-than-average amounts of bookings and spend more money than individuals. We focus on the higher-priced market and make commission on each booking,” he said.
This strategy appears to have won the confidence of investors for this latest funding round. Sanz told us LaComunity wanted to use new investment to build its team and invest in marketing to grow its property portfolio.
The platform currently has more than 100,000 properties in 18 countries. In addition to targeting clients, such as major travel agencies in Spain, LaComunity is working to add rentals in key destinations across Europe and Latin America.