High-End Travel Marketplace Demeure Raises $4M to Help Take on Airbnb and HomeAway

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Demeure, a Waterloo-based online travel marketplace that launched publicly last week, recently announced that is has raised $4 million to help compete against vacation rental giants like Airbnb and HomeAway.

The third round of seed funding, which comprised of about 50 Canadian private investors, brings the startup’s total funding to approximately $8 million, raised without institutional funding.

The funding will go toward increasing sales and marketing capacity as well as increasing user privacy and engagement on the site. Demeure currently has about 1,000 users, and is hoping to reach 25,000 by the end of the year.

Demeure targets high-end travels with a subscription-based model that allows users to rent out their own property in exchange for credit that can be used to rent other properties through the company’s website.

Users can search for rental properties based on location, bedrooms, budget, and keyword search, or bid on specific rental homes listed on the site. Demeure curates private properties through approximately 100 partners around the world.

Unlike many of its competitors, which monetize through website traffic, customer transactions or user data, Demeure offers premium plans for travelers that includes booking priority and exclusive listings for $495 per year. Property plans for owners range from $495 to $995 per year.

Demeure’s CEO Peter Schwartz told TechCrunch that the company’s projected revenue this year is $2 million, with a revenue run rate of $7 million by the fourth quarter of 2013

Jared Lindzon

Jared Lindzon

Jared Lindzon is a freelance journalist born and raised in the city of Toronto. Specializing in small business, tech, and careers, Jared’s work is regularly featured in the Toronto Star, the Globe & Mail and the National Post, among others.