Seeking to increase its hold on vacation rental property managers, HomeAway acquired a partner and competitor, Instant Software Inc.
With the acquisition of the 50-employee Basalt, Colo.-based company, HomeAway intends to expand its suite of software product offerings to ISI's base of 1,400 property manager customers. This will add to the 4,030 property managers who currently use HomeAway websites for vacation rental distribution.
Previously, HomeAway had partnered with ISI, offering ISILink software to property managers for electronic distribution and online booking.
HomeAway says it intends to invest further in these capabilities to make them more widely available to property managers on disparate booking platforms.
"We'll continue to work with third-party distribution providers that can increase bookings and exposure for our customers," says HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples. "We're also going to seek ways to expose the local services offered by our property managers to our large base of rent-by-owner customers."
In tandem with the acquisition, HomeAway created a new team to push for development, sales and distribution agreements for its property management software business.
Headed by HomeAway General Manager John Banczak, the group will blend HomeAway's and ISI's B&B property management businesses, RezOvation and Webervations.
Asked if the acquisition represents a strategy shift for HomeAway, Sharples says it doesn't.
"The acquisition of Instant does not signify a strategy shift for HomeAway and, if anything, it represents our furthered commitment to creating the world’s most complete vacation rental marketplace," Sharples says. "By all intents and purposes, HomeAway was already in the property managed software business, but for the B&B industry with Webervations and RezOvation. However, Instant Software was founded in 1994 and is the top vacation rental management software provider and it helps us get one step closer is to make finding and booking alternative accommodations as easy as a hotel."
ISI will maintain offices in Colorado and Florida, and its 50 employees bring HomeAway's roster to 710.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.