Evolve Vacation Rental Network, a Denver-based vacation rental management company, announced today a $5.5 million investment led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. The round brought the company’s total funding to $12 million, and included participation from Annox Capital and Allen & Company. Evolve plans to use the investment to expand its team and fuel marketing to the 10 million vacation homeowners in North America.
“The vacation rental industry is becoming mainstream. This is creating an opportunity to build a business that helps homeowners serve the consumer in a high-quality fashion,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund, Inc. “We believe that Evolve is uniquely positioned to elevate the booking experience in a flexible, cost-effective manner.”
Evolve’s vacation rental management owner-facing service assists homeowners with every aspect of generating rental income: creating listings optimized for online booking performance, promoting them on the major vacation rental marketplaces as well as its own site, responding to traveler inquiries seven days a week, securing bookings online and offline, and handling all pre- and post-stay guest communication.
The company features owner-friendly policies like no term commitments or limits on personal stays, and offers homeowners the option of coordinating on-the-ground services through a provider of their choosing, or by accessing its network of vetted local partners. There are no upfront costs and homeowners pay 10 percent per booking.
Founded in 2011 by Brian Egan and Adam Sherry, Evolve services more than 2,000 vacation rental properties throughout North America and has booked more than 55,000 trips since its launch. The company also benefits from the extensive experience of Bob Mylod, founder and managing partner of Annox Capital Management and former vice chairman and CFO of Priceline.com, who serves on Evolve’s board of directors along with Egan and Sherry.
“The vacation rental marketplaces are transitioning from travelers inquiring online to travelers booking online,” said Mylod. “With this shift, the market has grown increasingly complex and competitive. I see Evolve playing a cornerstone role in helping vacation rental owners succeed in this new environment.”