In more follow-on funding, Love Home Swap, the UK-based holiday home exchange marketplace startup, has raised a further £1 million from existing backer MMC Ventures, bringing the total invested by the London VC in the company to approximately £2.65 million.
The news is also being announced to co-incide with the introduction of a new “Swap Points” scheme, which sees Love Home Swap broaden its model once again, encroaching even further on the legacy holiday accommodation ‘time-share’ model.
Instead of members having to swap homes and destinations at the same time, or pay for a straight up rental, they can now pledge time in their property to a central bank, thus earning points that can be redeemed later to enable them to stay in other members’ homes when they actually want go on vacation.
Founded by Debbie Wosskow, and launched in October 2011, Love Home Swap builds on the age-old concept of home swapping as an alternative to renting expensive holiday accommodation. Members pay an annual fee for an unlimited number of swaps throughout the year, access to direct rentals, and with today’s newly launched scheme, the chance to bank points for a later swap.
To-date, the startup says 55,000 “inspiring properties” are listed on its service, in over 150 countries, claiming that members save an average of £2,202 per home swap. Can we still say ‘collaborative consumption’ with a straight face?
Love Home Swap says the additional funding will be used to invest in marketing, product development and new hires, specifically in the areas of sales and customer service, as the business aims to double the number of members it has over the coming 12 months. Its previous funding round was, in part, pegged for acquisitions as part of its growth strategy, which led it to acquire 1stHomeExchange in January, increasing listings by a third over night.