GuestReady rose to prominence in the short-term rental management landscape in just a few years since its launch in 2016 thanks to several key acquisitions amongst its European competitors. After focusing in 2020 on operational excellence and technological improvements, the acquisition of The Porto Concierge marks a clear pivot back to growth for GuestReady.
With this development, the company is moving closer to reaching its goal of 10,000 properties by 2023, in order to offer flexible living spaces to travellers, digital nomads, and mid-term tenants in most cities in Europe and eventually globally.
Founded in 2014, The Porto Concierge is the largest short-term rental management company in Portugal, known for its local expertise and significant footprint in Porto. Since its launch, the company has generated more than €30 million in revenue for its property owners.
This acquisition closely follows the closing in December 2020 of GuestReady’s crowdfunding campaign – the largest ever equity crowdfunding round led by a Swiss venture – raising over €2.4 million from over 800 investors, and the launch of the recent partnership with Airhosted, a leading Airbnb management company in Switzerland.
With a portfolio of 2,800 properties across 20 cities, this acquisition cements the leading position of GuestReady in the urban short-term rental management industry in Europe.
Commenting on the acquisition, Alexander Limpert, chief executive officer of GuestReady, says: “We’ve been deeply impressed with the team, the portfolio and local setup that the founders of The Porto Concierge, Rui and Luis, have built over the years. We are excited and proud to welcome The Porto Concierge to the GuestReady Group. The Porto Concierge marks our fifth acquisition in less than 4 years. In such a new and dynamic industry, it makes sense to team up with local leaders to continuously raise the bar, both for hosts and guests services alike.”
Rui Silva, chief executive officer of The Porto Concierge, explains the motivations behind joining GuestReady Group: “We have been friendly competitors of GuestReady since 2018 and knew the Portuguese team well,” he says. “The industry is consolidating at a fast pace and joining the technology leader in this space is a great opportunity to further accelerate our own growth.”
“GuestReady’s technological expertise and best-in-class operational setup paired with our deep-rooted local market expertise will enable us to further improve our offering for our hosts and our guests. We’re excited to continue the journey from here on together.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic putting the brakes on four years of unprecedented growth in the industry for GuestReady, the company worked on further developing its technology to prepare for the next stage of rapid growth that this new acquisition marks the beginning of.
Limpert continues: “We are always developing ways to leverage technology to automate non-core processes. The goal is to increase efficiency, scalability, and to free up resources towards delivering amazing experiences for hosts and guests. In 2020, we for example centralised the guest messaging structure, and introduced smart locks.”
The company, while impacted by the pandemic in spring 2020, adapted to the evolving circumstances and weathered the storm thanks to its presence across different seasonal geographies and revenue-share model strategy as opposed to master leasing.
Limpert says: “Whilst fast growth always was at the centre of our strategy, we perceived the master lease model that several of our competitors opted for as carrying too much systematic risk. Low probability but high risk, and this is exactly what we saw unfold during this pandemic.”
The entire team of The Porto Concierge will join the GuestReady Group, both in local and global roles. Limpert says the acquisition was not about cost savings, but about growth. “The Porto Concierge has built a brilliant team over the years, and we’re excited to all be working together from this point forward,” he concludes.
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This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.