HomeAway: Organizing the Vacation Rental Industry
In less than ten years, co-founders Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd had transformed HomeAway from just another Internet startup into the leading vacation rentals marketplace in the world-a global online platform that linked customers seeking vacation home rentals to the property owners and managers who supplied them. The case traces HomeAway's origins through IPO and beyond, documenting the company's acquisition-led growth and the core elements of its subscription-based business model. By 2014, incumbent travel giants and high-profile startups like Airbnb began to take notice of the vacation rentals sector. To stay ahead, HomeAway initiated a pilot collaboration to show some of its listings on Expedia's site. Sharples was also considering a new commission-based revenue model that promised to attract a broader swath of property listers but risked undermining HomeAway's existing business.