Real Estate: Vacasa Raises Stake from Silver Lake and Other Firms
Vacasa, the property management service for vacation rentals, said Tuesday it had raised $108 million in investment led by existing investor Silver Lake, with Riverwood Capital and Level Equity also taking part. Silver Lake first invested in the vacation rental firm back in October.
Vacasa is the largest full-service vacation rental management company in North America. The company was rocked by the economic shutdown bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. California is one of their largest vacation rental markets and is still not open yet. In March Vacasa said that they had to lay off 6,000 employees worldwide, and 400 at its headquarters in Portland. Some of the money raised in this round will be used to call back furloughed employees.
The Vacasa Deal
Vacasa said that they are already seeing an improvement in business conditions as lockdowns are lifted across parts of the country. They had six times as many guest reservations booked in May as in April, indicating an increased interest in leisure travel. During the height of the crisis, Vacasa had guest bookings in only 357 U.S. cities. This has increased to 723 U.S. cities. In April, Vacasa saw its booking window peak at 142 days, signaling that guests were booking trips further in the future. Since mid-May, Vacasa’s booking window is back down to 40 days, in line with 2019 averages.
To increase travelers, comfort levels that the company has recently launched Vacasa Premium Clean, a new program that meets or exceeds all currently published CDC recommendations and follows the Vacation Rental Management Association’s SafeHome guidance.
Neither Silver Lake or Vacasa commented on the valuation level of the financing round
Silver lake has been aggressive about investing in the travel business since the pandemic hit. In April the firm invested $1 billion in debt and equity in Airbnb with Sixth Street Partners. Later in the month, they teamed up with Apollo Global Management(APO)To invest $1.2 billion in Expedia (EXPE).
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