Vacation Listing Service, Inc., Launches Vacatia.com with Seed Funding from Top Luminaries in Travel, Timeshare and Online Real Estate.
Vacation Listing Services, Inc. (VLS),www.vacationlistingservice.com, announced today it has closed more than $5 million in funding for the launch of Vacatia.com, www.vacatia.com, the new online marketplace for shared vacation ownership. Vacatia provides consumers and the vacation ownership industry with a groundbreaking safe, open and easy-to-use transactional marketplace where people can research, discover, buy and close the purchase of timeshares and fractional interests at great prices, and cost-efficiently sell timeshares to the largest possible audience of interested buyers.
Vacatia promises to reinvigorate and accelerate the way timeshares are bought and resold by bringing new levels of transparency, liquidity, credibility and convenience to this $14 billion global market. The beta site is already up and operational with more than 10,000 worldwide listings, representing over $100 million of timeshare and fractional resale inventory from top hospitality brands and independent developers, including Marriott Vacation Club, Wyndham Vacation Club, Disney Vacation Club, Starwood Vacation Ownership, Hilton Grand Vacations, Westin Vacation Ownership, Hyatt Residence Club, Four Seasons Residence Clubs, Ritz-Carlton Club, Welk Resorts and others.
A Who’s Who of travel, timeshare and real estate e-marketplace industry luminaries participated in the company’s seed funding. Investors include Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, Erik Blachford, former CEO of Expedia, Greg Waldorf, Trulia director and former CEO of eHarmony, and Thomas Byrne, former President of LoopNet. Also participating were Industry veterans Robert Spottswood, founding board member of Hyatt Vacation Ownership, and Raymond L. “Rip” Gallein, Jr., who founded and ran Starwood Vacation Ownership and is currently on the Board of Marriott Vacations Worldwide. In addition, professional investors such as Barry Sternlicht and Steve Hankin of Starwood Capital, Egon Durban of SilverLake and Gene Frantz of Google Capital invested personally in the round. Consumer VC Maveron, Bee Partners, Peterson Ventures and Meyer Ventures also participated.
“Timeshare and shared vacation ownership programs were the vanguard for today’s sharing economy,” said Keith Cox, CEO and founder of VLS and Vacatia. “Our mission is to make it easier to share ownership and create memorable experiences in these amazing shared vacation properties located in the most sought after destinations. A credible, trusted marketplace and resale solution is long overdue for the timeshare industry, in particular. We’re building an end-to-end transactional platform that will support liquidity and benefit everyone — consumers, brokers, agents, developers, homeowner associations and resort managers.”
Vacatia was by created by an A-Team of successful entrepreneurs and innovators who have played formative roles in pioneering start-ups and new business models within the travel, vacation ownership, hospitality and e-marketplace sectors. Their successes include participation in transformational companies like Hotwire, OpenTable.com, LoopNet, Disney Vacation Club, Marriott Vacation Club, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Interval Leisure Group, Resort Equities and Sentient Jet, as well as creating the Pacific Catch and World Wrapps restaurant chains.
Vacatia addresses a growing challenge to the timeshare and fractional ownership market – the increasing inventory of timeshares held by owners who want to sell their interest in vacation properties but have no single, credible channel for reaching buyers. The North American timeshare industry alone represents a $10 billion market, including approximately 5 million American families who own timeshares.
Vacatia charges no upfront listing fees while making it easy for potential buyers to browse through thousands of listings, including detailed descriptions and photos, comparison shop by price, location, time of year, usage and other factors, and then negotiate and transact safely. The site includes “Vacatia Verified” listings, as well as escrow and closing services.
“Buyers who purchase through Vacatia’s trusted marketplace will receive a free one-year exchange membership, allowing them to exchange their timeshare period for other dates and locations around the world,” said Cox. “Sellers can expect interested buyers and a seamless sales process. We’ll also be adding a wide variety of cool new features, including rentals, consumer financing, owner reviews and more, to make discovering shared vacation ownership a more exciting and rewarding experience.”
About Vacation Listing Service and Vacatia.com
Based in San Francisco, VLS is the parent company of Vacatia.com, the new online marketplace for shared vacation ownership. Vacatia addresses the vital need for greater transparency, liquidity and convenience in today’s timeshare and fractional ownership markets. It offers consumers, brokers, agents, developers, homeowner associations and resort managers a new and better way to connect, negotiate and transact in the fractional resale market. VLS is powered by an unparalleled team of proven innovators and senior executives in the vacation ownership, travel, real estate, hospitality and e-marketplace sectors.
Original Source: Vacatia.com Attracts $5 Million In Funding To Launch Online Marketplace For Vacation Timeshares
Perspective Magazine is the largest independent trade publication for the timeshare and fractional ownership industry globally. Syndication by INTUITION, a leading brand marketing service by Perspective Group.