Austin-based HomeAway continues growth, spends $198 million for Australian rental site

Dec 5, 2013
Austin American Statesman

The growth continues for Austin-based HomeAway Inc. HomeAway, which has become the world’s leading network of online vacation rentals by buying smaller sites, said Wednesday that it is expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with the purchase of a leading Australia-based vacation rental website


The Stayz Group, based in Sydney, is the 22nd acquisition for HomeAway


HomeAway said it paid $198 million in cash to acquire the Stayz Group, which operates Stayz.com.au and three other vacation rental websites


The deal adds 33,000 Australian-based properties to HomeAway’s network


Stayz is the latest in a series of HomeAway investments in the Asia-Pacific region over the past year. Last month, the company bought an ownership stake in New Zealand vacation rental website Bookabach for an undisclosed price


In addition, HomeAway purchased Singapore-based travelmob.com; formed a partnership with Webo.com, a leading travel search engine across the Asia-Pacific; and bought a minority investment in China-based vacation rental company Tujia.com


Founded in 2005, HomeAway operates webysites that feature more than 775,000 paid listings in 171 countries. Its competitors include San Francisco-based Airbnb Inc. and multiple small privately owned sites.


HomeAway has more than 1,400 employees worldwide, including more than 700 in Austin


To accommodate its growth, the company has leased additional space off-site from its global headquarters at West Fifth Street and Lamar Boulevard


Last year, it took more than 26,000 square feet in the Penn Field complex on South Congress Avenue. Next year, it is expected to take 115,000 square feet in a new office project at the Domain development in North Austin


Print Article opens in new window