Housetrip is an example of a matchmaking business model. Individuals can rent out their entire home for short periods of time to those who need accommodation while traveling. The exchange between the two parties occurs via Housetrip’s website. The company competes with AirBnB in the marketplace for short term rentals of entire homes, but not in marketplaces for spare bedrooms.
Housetrip was founded by Arnaud Bertrand and Junjun Chen in 2010 in Lausanne, Switzerland. This company offers holiday rentals on a peer to peer model. As of May 2015, Housetrip raised $60 million in funding, has presence in 20,000 destinations, and more than 300,000 properties are listed on the website.
CUSTOMERS – WHO THEY ARE:
Housetrip serves two categories of customers: the hosts (namely the landlords or others who have a right to lease their property) and the customers (namely customers who require a holiday accommodation). Target market is different from AirBnB, this one focus on a house instead of rooms.
ENGAGEMENT – VALUE CREATION PROPOSITION:
For the guests, Housetrip offers the options of inexpensive alternative holiday accommodation and short let contracts in different cities. This accommodation option appeals to travellers who seek a sense of staying in a real home instead of a hotel during their trip. For the hosts, Housetrip allows listing of properties for free, and offers a way for hosts to list the days that their property is available, along with additional scheduling functionality built into the website. For those renting their properties, Housetrip offers an additional source of (passive) income.
DELIVERY – THE VALUE CHAIN:
Housetrip curates a large catalog of houses in cities around the world, making the catalog available on its website to individuals in need of accommodation. Once both sides of the transaction have been connected (i.e., a traveller has found a house she is interested in), Housetrip facilitates the sharing of information about the property and information about the guests and hosts, as well as facilitating the eventual payment using third party providers such as PayPayl.
To list their property in Housetrip, hosts complete an online profile on Housetrip’s website, along with details about the property – including at least three photos. An internal verification team based in Lisbon assesses each property and places those that are deemed acceptable onto the website. The verification team looks at photo quality and descriptions of the property, and performs fraud detection checks (the details of which are not publicly available).
Guests are encouraged to leave a review after their stay, and only verified guests can review a property that they’ve stayed in.
MONETIZATION – VALUE CAPTURE:
Housetrip charges hosts and guests a commission per transaction, in the range of 10-20 percent. The rental prices are determined by the hosts, and can vary by day and by season. Hosts can also set the maximum number of occupants, and require a security deposit if they choose. Payments are made online through Housetrip’s website.
Housetrip Website: www.housetrip.com
Housetrip Wikipedia Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HouseTrip
Written by Sesha Chittarvu and edited by James Knuckles under the direction of Prof Charles Baden-Fuller, Cass Business School. This case is designed to illustrate a business model category. It leverages public sources and is written to further management understanding, and it is not meant to suggest individuals made either correct or incorrect decisions. © 2016
Published 20 April 2016