Company had been trying to find new investors after burning through £30 million but landlords have been reassured that bookings will go ahead.
Airbnb bookings management service Hostmaker.com has ceased trading after failing to find new investors to keep it afloat.
The high-profile company had been in trouble for some time and last week newspaper reports revealed it was facing administration.
Hostmaker had already burned through £30 million of investor’s cash raised during two funding rounds and had expanded rapidly across London but also internationally in Thailand, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Its service offered landlords an ‘arms length’ short stay service and charged to list their properties on Airbnb, collect payments, complete check-ins and outs, and change over properties with new linen and a cleaning service.
But such rapid expansion, and high marketing and operational costs, made it a heavy loss maker and its 2018 accounts show it spent £12 million generating £9.9 million in revenue.
Industry alliance the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) has moved to reassure landlords that one of its members, Houst, has stepped in to fill the service gap left by Hostmaker’s collapse and all bookings that had been made with Airbnb have now been transferred.
“It is always sad when a company falls into financial difficulties but it is one of the traits of a fast, evolving and growing sector,” says Merilee Karr, Chair of the STAA.
“My sympathies go out to all the Hostmaker staff and their customers that have been affected by this news. “We are pleased that the industry has acted quickly so that homeowners who were customers of Hostmaker have been migrated to one of our member companies.”
James Jenkins-Yates, founder and CEO of Houst, says: “As reported, Hostmaker’s UK business has been placed into administration and has subsequently ceased trading.
“On Friday, our offer to acquire Hostmaker’s non-UK subsidiaries was accepted by its administrators. As part of this, we have also stepped in to ensure all of Hostmaker’s UK hosts can continue offering the same great service to guests we know they strive for. Our focus on the immediate future is to seamlessly transfer all of Hostmaker’s hosts to our platform so that they can continue business as usual.