We’re Traveling Fast: Three Award Wins in Two Weeks

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At VacationRenter, we are obsessed with making travel easier. That means providing the best search experience for travelers looking for vacation rentals all over the world. No more endless scrolling across different websites or wondering whether or not you got the best deal. 

 With the number of vacation rentals well into the millions and growing quickly, using technology to intelligently and programmatically find the perfect rental for every traveler is critical. Over the last year and a half we’ve invested heavily into proprietary automation and AI to constantly improve how we find travelers the best rentals. We’ve also layered on helpful content like local expert travel guides and smart destination pages with data on price trends to help you plan the perfect trip. 

 As we continue to grow and innovate in the vacation rental industry, we are honored to be recognized by the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards and the Golden Bridge Awards with three different wins:

  • Gold for Startup of the Year in the Consumer Product category by the Golden Bridge Awards
  • Gold for Online Travel Services: Trip Planning in the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards
  • Silver for Online Travel Services: Website in the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards

The Golden Bridge Awards program recognizes and honors the world’s best achievements and innovations in every industry around the world, with more than 160 global experts participating in the judging. The Travel Weekly Magellan Awards celebrates the best in travel globally, with judges comprised of some of the biggest names in the industry. We are honored to be recognized and awarded by both of these prominent organizations.

While we are excited about what we have accomplished, we are even more excited about what’s on the horizon:

Expanding Globally

This summer we began expanding to new markets, making it easier to find your perfect rental wherever you are. We’re continuing to invest in expansion and plan to launch in more markets in the final months of 2019 and into 2020.  Expanding globally means localizing content, adding more currencies, and adding additional partners to ensure travelers have the best options when exploring other countries. As we grow and build more partnerships around the world, we’re continuously improving our search results rankings so even with more listings being added everyday, we’re ensuring you only see the best ones. Not only will you see more listings, but you’ll see better, more unique ones along with more local data on our travel guides and price trends for all the places you want to visit.

Expanding Locally

While we are growing the reach of our vacation rentals, we are also working to localize our website based on where you are, wherever you are, across the globe. Our goal is for everyone to eventually be able to book in their native currency and language. Keep an eye on our announcements over the coming months to learn more about the localized features that are underway. 

More Tools to Plan, Wherever You Plan on Going

Our content will increasingly help you plan trips both domestically and internationally so you can identify the right vacation rental, regardless of your destination. Our proprietary tech enables us to search and sort millions of listings very fast and present you with the best ones so you don’t have to spend your time sifting through pages and pages of listings. Want to head to Macchu Picchu or lounge on a beach in Spain? We’ll help you plan the perfect stay. 

We are excited about how far we have come, and we are excited about what lies ahead. Here’s to traveling!

To learn more about the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards and the Golden Bridge Awards, check out our announcement or visit their websites at:

 

https://www.travelweeklyawards.com/

https://goldenbridgeawards.com/

Making Global Travel Easier With More Currencies

At VacationRenter, our team is committed to helping travelers conveniently book vacation rentals from anywhere around the globe. Our mission is to help you find the perfect vacation rental with the simplest experience. 

We recently shared our plans of expanding into international markets and over the last month we have already helped millions of international travelers find their perfect rentals. While they are still only a small percentage of our users, we expect international travelers to grow exponentially over the coming months as we roll out new international features.

To make searching easier for travelers overseas, our team is excited to announce that we have added additional currencies to our platform, allowing users to select a currency of their choice while searching through our millions of global properties. We started with adding the currencies that account for more than 50% of global transactions in vacation rentals including USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, and NZD. In addition, if a traveler is located in a market that uses one of our provided currencies, the currency will default to their location’s currency.

While we’re excited about this, it’s only the first of many international product updates that will make the VacationRenter search experience easier for travelers everywhere. Over the coming months, we will continue to add additional currencies, enable language localization, collaborate with international partners to bring our users more listings, and expand our localized content with travel guides and price trends for locations abroad. 

Your next vacation is just a click away. Escape to a beautiful rental with VacationRenter today!

 

One Year After Launching, VacationRenter Sets Sights on International Markets

Searching for the perfect vacation rental is time consuming, difficult and leaves travelers wondering if they’ve found the best option. That’s why we started VacationRenter. To make finding the best vacation rental easier than ever before.

Over the last year, we’ve leveraged automation and AI to bring together vacation rentals from the top sites and showcase only the best results. We’re building the easiest way for you to find your perfect vacation rental.

Where we are today

After testing countless approaches to simplify the search process, our platform has now helped millions of travelers find the perfect vacation rental. We’ve completely rebuilt the user experience based on your feedback and are pushing updates to production multiple times per week.

Our ongoing product developments have helped us create one of the quickest-growing travel companies in the industry. Every month, several million users browse and find vacation rental properties through our site. We’ve surpassed 50,000 bookings per month, and we’ve become the go-to destination for travelers looking for a vacation rental.

We’ve been able to grow quickly because we’re led by a team that’s passionate about travel. Our COO, Marco del Rosario, spent over five years at Google focused on travel partnerships and products, and our team members have worked at some of the biggest and most innovative travel companies in the world. By building a team with deep travel expertise, we will ensure we’re focused on building what travelers need and want.

What’s on the horizon

While we’ve made a lot of progress, we’re just getting started. In the coming months, we’re expanding VacationRenter to international markets. This expansion includes rolling out features like localized content, currencies and adding international supply brands.

As we grow, we’ll continue adding resources like travel guides, price trends, nearby attraction suggestions, and proprietary reports to inspire travelers and help you plan the best trip for the best value. We’ll be adding more partners and rental listings to ensure you can always find what you want, at the best price.

We’re bringing on additional executive leadership and continuing to build new ways to help you find the best vacation rental. We’re on a mission to help people find the perfect vacation rental, no matter where they are.

Check out our announcement for more details about our year of growth.

Why We Launched VacationRenter

VacationRenter Product

At Wilbur Labs, the SF-based startup studio behind VacationRenter, we have quarterly company offsites where we book a vacation rental to work for a few days in a different city. This should be a relatively easy process, but every time we search for a rental, it takes hours of planning and work. We find ourselves scrolling through pages of search results and jumping from site to site, trying to find the ideal place for the best price.

While doing searches, we kept noticing the results were not tailored to our specific needs. There was no way to verify that we were actually getting the best deal after booking a rental. As a result, we spent a lot of time thinking about how large this opportunity was in terms of the number of vacation renters and property owners who would be impacted if we could make the process easier, especially in light of the scale and complexity of working with multiple inventory sources.

Our startup studio model is to identify pain points we can remedy with automation and AI. Our own experience as customers led to the realization that the vacation rental space had the kind of problems we could fix.

No one had yet come up with a way to truly personalize vacation rental search results. We wanted to change that so that it would be easy to find the right rental.

Why Launch a New Company?
At Wilbur Labs, we use automation to solve big problems. When evaluating potential ideas, we decide to move forward if we have an entirely new concept, or an idea that can improve a current industry by 10x.  We knew we could make the search for a vacation rental at least 10x better. That’s why we launched VacationRenter.

The last thing we wanted to do was offer another website cluttered with vacation rental listings, or a meta search product with poor user experience. 

Rather than add to the noise and confusion of all the search results for vacation rentals, we use automation and AI to personalize the many search results that already exist based upon real time signals regarding consumer intent. We built VacationRenter from the ground up to be frictionless across all devices.

We listened closely to feedback from our users and incorporated it as we refined VacationRenter’s user experience. Two months after our soft launch, we completely rebuilt the UX based on testing and user feedback. We push updates to production an average of four times per week.  The result of this iterative process has been extremely rapid improvement and compelling sales growth. 

The Company Today
We have reached a $100 million annual booking run-rate in a very short time during this soft launch. To the best of our knowledge, this is the fastest growth of anyone in this space. This tells us that a lot of people want a better search experience, and that VacationRenter is the solution they have been looking for. With the $3 million investment behind VacationRenter, we will build on what we’ve already accomplished, and accelerate this impressive growth.

Check out our announcement for more details about our launch.

We’re hiring to grow the VacationRenter team. View current openings here: https://www.wilburlabs.com/careers

As we continue to scale up and develop a better rental search experience, we’ll leverage our funding to invest in new integrations, enhance our automation, and expand our reach.

We’re proud to offer a far better search experience for people looking for the perfect rental at the best price. And we’re going to continue to make it better.