There are many solutions when a traveler wants to rent a property: websites like Airbnb, local agents, hotels, private properties to name the obvious. When it comes to luxury properties, the options become a tad more rarified.
Luxury travel estimated to be worth between $25 billion and $30 billion per year. So far only OneFineStay and LuxuryRetreats come the closest in delivering it online, and even at this point these two firms account for a small fraction of the market. The rest is fragmented among traditional local agents who are focused on one destination. That means they have trouble serving clients who want to travel elsewhere. Le Collectionist, a startup out of Paris, aims to fill that need.
It’s now raised a new $10 million round of funding led by Red River West (Artemis Group) with the support of its long-standing investors, Partech Ventures and XAnge. The cash will be used for international expansion of the company.
It also now plans open over 100 local offices around the world, accelerating in the US to attract Americans to Europe and open up on-site destinations. It’s also acquiring Bonder & Co, which has specialized in luxury short-term rental and concierge services for the last 11 years in Ibiza, a big destination among the ‘jet set’.
The startup has three main offerings. It focuses on the experience; a scalable local presence; and a tech platform that drives our business by automating data collection.
Having secured its first €2million investment in early 2016, Le Collectionist focused on combining central services with local offices. The offices are in charge of sourcing properties, welcoming customers and guaranteeing the quality of the experience during each guest’s stay.
So far it has 15 destinations with a local office, such as Saint Tropez, Ibiza and Paros.
“It was essential to have a physical and local presence to ensure the satisfaction of our customers, whose average transaction value is €26,000 for 10 days. We’re going to replicate it quickly with a view to having one hundred local offices by 2020,” says Max Aniort, co-founder.