Online businesses are on the rise even in the field of accommodation booking services. Airbnb and Home Away are the success stories in the field and have successfully promoted the idea of giving up your private home to total strangers on rent. Luxury Retreats operating out of Montreal has been an old player in the field but is attempting to reinvent itself by securing $5 million in funding led by iNovia Capital. The online site has been in business for over a decade now but has been self funded through out and has become profitable with revenues in rental breaching the $100 million mark in a calendar year.
Luxury Retreats has New Look Board Post Funding
It has made many in the industry curious as to why the company needed the VC money and what it plans to do on its way forward. Chris Arsenault, a partner at iNovia has joined the board. The new look board of Luxury Retreats features Bertrand Cesvet of Cirque du Soleil Lifestyle Group and Hugh Crean, entrepreneur in residence at General Catalyst Partners. It is clear that the company is preparing for a new innings. Joe Poulin the founder and CEO of Luxury Retreats points out that the site has all along taken a different approach compared to other accommodation booking services. Their aim has never been to offer cheaper and flexible alternative to hotels. They have put up niche products which are appreciated by people who are not averse to spending some money.
The Villa Service is Aimed at the Top End of the Market
Luxury Rentals has a dedicated villa service which is aimed at the top end of the market. They already boast of a portfolio of 2,000 villas in 50 destinations. The properties have been carefully curated, often by Poulin himself. The company is in the process of adding 50 new properties to its portfolio. The company offers pre-rental consulting and post- arrival concierge services. Their rates average around $2,000 a night with their commission in the range of 20 to 30%. There is speculation in the industry that the company is repositioning itself and will be on the lookout for suitable acquisitions to round out its portfolio and enter newer market segments. However there are others who believe that the company is repositioning itself as a target for those who want a stronger play in the higher end of the market.