Some of you may already know that I have decided a month ago to join one of the Chandlers.
Others might think what does he mean?
In plain English, I have joined HouseTrip.com as their Business Development Director to grow inventory (meaning apartments, villas, houses…) and contribute to become the world's leading holiday rental site with an online booking engine.
My first acquaintance with HouseTrip was in November 2009 at the GetFunded Show at the World Travel Market. I did cover the event there and was one of the happy few invited to hear startups pitching their next disruptive idea to compete with the likes of Priceline, Kayak or TripAdvisor. At that time, HouseTrip was bootstrapped by their founders Arnaud Bertrand and Junjun Chen (both graduates from Lausanne hotel school in 2009).
In November 2010, Housetrip raised their first round of financing from the well-established VC Index Ventures. The team also expanded with the appointment of David Norris, former COO of LiveBookings and other smart appointments with past experience from Expedia, Lastminute, Air New Zealand and more.
After hearing about the new funding onTechcrunch, I congratulated Arnaud and David and we met for a coffee in Silicon Soho. Then in July 2011, we came to a constructive decision: let’s work together and kick some ass.
HouseTrip is simply a very well constructed and designed website that offers more than 15,000 apartments around the world in more than a thousand destinations. The catch is that you as a traveller pay only HouseTrip for your stay. HouseTrip is not again another vacation rental site with the “listing” model like HomeAway or FlipKey.
We aim to be the leading merchant site to connect owners/agencies with travellers with the best web experience and if possible with instant booking capability.
If you want to let your apartment on HouseTrip, it’s totally free. Just simply register your property here.
What does it mean for me? For the first time in 12 years, I won’t be working directly with hotels but actually for an alternative and competitive offering that holidaymakers and even business related travellers find more and more appealing. To be clear, I am not staying away from the hotel industry, I will still be looking up what the industry does in marketing. And yes I will still be a hotel customer. It also means that I go back to startup mode that I have missed so much since my days at Active Hotels. Most important of all, I am having fun while working our way up to become a leading player in the online travel market place.