HouseTrip gets $17m Series B led by Balderton Capital – Look out AirBnB

HouseTrip, the holiday lettings marketplace raised $2.7m from Index Ventures back in April and relaunched to appeal to a wider market than its holiday apartments rental space. HouseTrip built a reputation by removing the need for guests to negotiate with homeowners directly, thus building in a degree of security. Today it’s completed a $17 million Series B funding round led by Balderton Capital. Index Ventures reinvested pro-rata.

The funding will be used to develop the product, generate more inventory (through additional outreach to holiday apartment hosts) and reach (through marketing and localisation).

The play against AirBnB here is obvious since HouseTrip founder and CEO Arnaud Bertrand says Housetrip aims to be “a powerful alternative to hotels around the world.” Sounds familiar.

Tim Bunting, a Balderton Capital partner says they invested because HouseTrip offered “the best model in a rapidly-growing field.”

Housetrip has offices in London, Lausanne and Lisbon, employes 70 staff. It went live in January 2010 and claims to have generated bookings for over 500,000 nights so far, with 55,000 properties already listed in thousands of global destinations. HouseTrip’s most popular host has already generated more than $1M in the first year – which makes me wonder which one this is?