Monster Round For HomeAway: $250 Million, At An Absurd Valuation

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Austin, Texas based HomeAway, a vacation home rental service, has raised a $250 million round of financing. This comes on top of $209 million previously raised over two rounds.

The new financing was led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with existing investors IVP and Redpoint Ventures participating as well. The financing is the largest minority investment of a U.S. Internet company in the last eight years, according to Venture Source.

The pre-money valuation was around $1.15 billion, say a couple of sources, and at least $50 million of the round went off the table to earlier investors. The company was founded in 2005 and has grown primarily through acquisitions: They’ve acquired at least eleven vacation home rental sites, including VRBO, VacationRentals.com, Abritel.fr and OwnersDirect.co.uk.

The company has revenues of around $150 million and $50 million in ebitda. In addition to cashing out some of the investors, our guess is that the additional funding will likely be used for further acquisitions.

It’s also clear that the round was seriously overvalued. Ebay was rumored to have mulled over an acquisition earlier this year at $1.5 billion, but it never came through with a firm offer. It’s not clear who else could be a buyer at this valuation. Also, since HomeAway has acquired just about everyone in the market, there’s little room for additional growth via acquisitions. 20x ebitda is a public company valuation for a company with real growth potential. Our guess is these new investors may take a bath.

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