Property exchange service Love Home Swap has announced today that it has completed its acquisition of competitor website 1stHomeExchange, tripling the size of its homestead portfolio to 35,000 properties in over 150 countries.
The firm says it is now reviewing “a number of further acqusitions” which it hopes to complete before a new round of fundraising in Autumn this year. Today’s anouncement also follows the closure of a follow-on funding round last November, which was worth £800,000 and led by MMC Ventures.
Debbie Wosskow, CEO of Love Home Swap said: “1stHomeExchange were one of the world’s biggest home exchange sites, with particularly strong coverage in Continental Europe and North America. We’ve had a strong start to 2013, as holiday-makers wake up to the benefits of home swapping. This deal will provide the ideal platform for Love Home Swap to dominate the home exchange market internationally.”
To coincide with the acquisition, Love Home Swap has also launched a French language version of its website today, offering all the same features and listings available in its English counterpart.
Launched in 2011, Love Home Swap is a service designed to help people swap their homes for other stylish residencies around the world. So if you’re planning to go on holiday, a business trip or an extended break, it’s possible to bypass hotels and more corporate accommodation altogether. The idea is that people should save a considerable amount of money this way, given that they’re swapping with users who’re also looking for an inexpensive place to stay.
In addition, you get to explore unique properties that not only have more space and personal character, but also offer those little home comforts that are often missing or severely lacking in a basic hotel. It’s the same line of thought that has made the independent room-renting service Airbnb so popular.
Last month, Love Home Swap released a custom Home Swap insurance product for its members – thought to be a first for the home exchange industry – in partnership with insurance experts Hiscox. It’s a neat solution that should put at ease any home owners that are wary of handing their keys over to a complete stranger.
Love Home Swap costs £99 a year for standard membership and an unlimited number of house swaps throughout the year. Alternatively, users can opt for a £199 tier that includes access to a dedicated Swap-finding team, as well as a 5-star Concierge when you travel.
Image Credit: Love Home Swap