Brazil-based online travel agency Hotel Urbano has launched an online rental platform offering properties and rooms throughout the country.
The venture is called Voltem and is effectively a relaunch of House in Rio which was recently acquired by Hotel Urbano and was also a short-term rentals platform.
House in Rio founder Eduardo Serrado will head up the redesigned and relaunched platform which aims to address a shortage of accommodation especially in areas of the country with high volumes of tourists.
The platform connects people looking for a short-term rental with homeowners with either properties or rooms to rent. The website hopes to have about 100,000 rooms available by the end of 2014.
One point of differentiation Voltem says it has with rivals in short-term rentals is a facility enabling users to pay in 10 installments. There is also a facility enabling users to contact hosts directly as well as the ability to leave reviews of their stays.
The plan is to begin extending the service across Brazil first and piggy back off the Hotel Urbano expertise in technology and digital marketing. Expansion across the entire region is also on the cards.
According to Hotel Urbano co-founder Joao Ricardo Mendes events such as the World Cup are driving locals to open up their homes to tourists.
Voltem enables users to search for accommodation by region or by events with areas of the website dedicated to large events such as Formula 1 and the Olympic Games.
Hotel Urbano was founded in 2011 and has grown rapidly. Most recently it attracted Series D funding of $50 million from Insight Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management.