Startup Partnered With Marriott and Airbnb Eyes Funding, Deals

(Bloomberg) -- Hostmaker, which offers management services for properties listed on Airbnb Inc. and elsewhere, is working on its third funding round as it seeks to enter new markets and develop more technology.

The London-based startup is looking to raise more than $32 million, Chief Executive Officer and founder Nakul Sharma said. The funding follows a 15-million pound ($19 million) Series B round completed in November.

Hostmaker, which has a staff of more than 200 people, has also been in talks with potential targets to acquire local platforms with which to gain scale both in existing and new markets, Sharma said, while declining to offer further details.

“We are looking for acquisitions either to grow in our existing markets or to enter a market," Sharma said. "We are talking to several different portfolios."

As part of its drive to diversify away from its initial focus on the likes of Airbnb and other similar home-sharing platforms, Hostmaker earlier this year announced an agreement with Marriott International Inc. Under the deal, Marriott clients can earn loyalty points when using Hostmaker. Prior to founding the company, Sharma had worked for Starwood Hotels and the Intercontinental Hotels Group.

While the company started with a focus on Airbnb properties and similar platforms, it now has clients who want other types of services too, including long-term rentals, Sharma said. The company also lists properties on mid-and long-term real estate rentals websites, such as Spain’s Idealista.com.

Hostmaker has been in talks recently with Spanish property managing platform Mycityhome.es, according to a person familiar with the matter. Talks failed to progress beyond initial discussions, the person said.

Mycityhome.es did not respond to a request for comment. Hostmaker declined to comment.

Hostmaker recently announced its entry into Bangkok, its first market outside Europe, and is soon to launch in two other countries, according to Sharma. On its website, the company is advertising a position for a general manager in Dubai, where it doesn’t currently operate.

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