The Hottest Software Vendors in Vacation Rentals (VRMA Spring Edition)

With the Spring VRMA conference happening next week, and as I focus more time on helping the next generation of fast-growing, disruptive vacation rental technology companies, I thought it would be fun to look at the landscape of vendors and give you a guide to companies to check out in the showcase next week.

Hot Companies

I turned to LinkedIn to track the size and speed at which different companies are growing. If you haven’t done it before, check out the Insights tab to figure out if a company you’re thinking of working with is big or small or growing fast or is a sinking ship. For the hot companies list, I looked at companies that are at least 50 employees and at least doubled in size over the last 2 years. Note: for simplicity, I left out OTAs, non-tech companies (like linen suppliers or business brokers), and companies that aren’t primarily focused on vacation rentals (like Avalara).

CompanyEmployees1 Year Growth2 Year Growth
Key Data5829%164%

So if you’re looking for help with data and revenue management (Beyond, Key Data, AirDNA, and PriceLabs), cleaning and operations (Turno and Breezeway), or a new PMS (Hostfully and Hostaway), these are the companies that are a bit more established than our Up and Comers (see next section) but are clearly onto something as they’re growing the fastest!

Up and Comers

For the Up and Comers, we looked at companies with more than 5 employees that more than doubled in size over the last 2 years. It’s a pretty exciting list. Keep your eye on these companies as they are likely on to something if they’re growing this fast. If you’re an early adopter who likes new technology, be sure to check them out.

CompanyEmployees1 Year Growth2 Year Growth
Angel Host4141%116%
Better Talent1550%150%
Touch Stay1440%100%
Guest Ranger8300%300%

There’s an interesting array of companies here: insurance (Safely), guest supplies and furnishings (sojo, Minoan, and HostGPO), recruiting and hiring (Better Talent), electric car charging (OK2Charge), trash can servicing – I need this for my property! (CanMonkey), guest screening (Guest Ranger), guest guidebook and messaging (Touch Stay), guest Wifi (StayFI), corporate credit card and expense management (Topkey), outsourced reservations and booking (Angel Host), and of course, property management systems (Hospitable, OwnerRez, and Uplisting).

The Old Guard

And finally, there’s the list of the old regulars. For these, I looked at companies with at least 20 employees growing less than 20% over the last year and less than 50% over the last 2 years. These are the folks holding steady. They have a good customer base but just aren’t quite growing that fast. For those in the Hot Company category, check these folks out as there’s a lot you can learn from them.

CompanyEmployees1 Year Growth2 Year Growth
InterCoastal Net Designs380%6%
VacayHome Connect379%-3%
RealTech Webmasters2111%17%

For the full list of vendors in my research, check out the Google Sheet here and feel free to copy and play with the data: There’s plenty of other great companies in there that didn’t quite make the growth cutoff but are big and important like Guesty and TravelNet and Lynx, Vintory, and Xplorie!

Have a great conference!

A New Chapter

Today I announced that I’d be leaving Beyond Pricing, the company I founded 6 years ago and led from just an idea about how to bring dynamic pricing to vacation rentals to a company of nearly 70 talented folks, with double-digit millions in revenue, over $45m raised, and huge growth prospects ahead.

Leaving a company you founded is incredibly difficult, but it’s made easier knowing it’s in the capable hands of my longtime cofounder and friend, David Kelso, who will lead through this next phase of product-centric growth.

I wrote more about what it means for Beyond Pricing here, but I wanted to also talk about what’s next for me.

First, I’m taking a little time for myself, which, when you have a lovely wife and two amazing little daughters (ages 5 months and 2 years), means time with your family. With everything in life, but especially with starting a company, your success is not your own but it’s built on the backs of those that support you. When you’re married, that’s your spouse, through and through. They make the sacrifices that help you be able to push yourself and create something great. Our last, large round of funding closed days after my second daughter was born and I barely took any time off. In the last few weeks, I realized how little time I got with her and I’ve been so grateful to be able to get to spend that time now.

But anyone who knows me, knows I don’t do well being idle.

Eventually, I’d like to build another great company, this time based in Santa Cruz, a fantastic surf-and-university town that my family has been tied to since my grandpa founded UC Santa Cruz over 50 years ago. There’s an incredibly talented community of folks here who value the outdoors and the ocean and the beach but who often are forced to commute over the hill to large tech companies, taking hours a day away from their time with family and the things they moved here to enjoy. I’m looking forward to connecting much more to that community and thinking about what we might build next together.

In the interim, I’ll continue the long tradition of giving back to the tech ecosystem that helped support Beyond Pricing in it’s early days through angel investing. Part of what makes Silicon Valley unique is the continuous flywheel of startup founders building companies and then investing in the next crop of ambitious startups.

If you know any incredibly ambitious founders building something great, I’d love to talk to them. The experience of building and scaling a mid-market B2B SaaS company through the early stages all the way through to a major investment from one of the top-tier venture firms, Bessemer, comes with a lot of learnings, which I’ll be writing about more. But it also means I can hopefully be helpful to the companies I invest in.

While I’m incredibly curious and love new and interesting industries and business models, here are a few areas where I have more expertise than others, and where I’d love to meet founders solving problems in new ways:

  • Optimization software (using data and algorithms to improve outcomes)
  • Enterprise software
  • Travel tech
  • Transportation and logistics

I’m incredibly excited both for the future of Beyond Pricing and for what’s next for me. I’m lucky to have had great investors, employees, partners, and especially a cofounder who believed in me and what we’re building and who will take Beyond Pricing to the next level.

Keep in touch.