Vacation rental search site, HomeAway.com registered its initial public offering (IPO) under stock symbole “AWAY,” filing to sell $230 million worth of shares with no word of numbers of shares to be offered. Our sources indicate the IPO will most likely happen this summer.
Is it just me or does this feel like another run up on IPOs? Bloomberg points out that Pandora’s pending IPO filing is for $100M while LinkedIn is raising $175M, both eclipsed by the $230M for HomeAway.
HomeAway offers over half a million vacation rental listings in over 120 countries and last year bought several software companies to beef up their offering after sales jumped 40% in 2010.
Fat pockets in Austin
HomeAway is headquartered in Austin, very near to us at AGbeat and over the years, we’ve known several people who have worked for and invested in the company and they’ve been well known for being one of the most well funded companies in town with two rounds of funding for $250M and $500M.
Several people have “graduated” from HomeAway to start their own peripheral companies with their “HomeAway money” which as strengthened the startup scene in Austin.
Why Realtors should know HomeAway
More important than the tech scene in Austin is what this major IPO filing means. Raising these kind of funds would help HomeAway to invest in more companies that strengthen their offering and at $300 per year to post a listing, Realtors should be familiar with the site in the event that clients want to entertain the option of renting out a listing that has been on the market for an extended period.
We thought vacation rentals would be hurting in a down economy, but our sources at HomeAway and elsewhere have shared with us offline that it is a booming sector and that consumers are deal seeking, not afraid to use the internet, and most of all, are looking to vacation rentals as a means of holding a property when traditional renters are not an option.