Denver short-term rental data analytics startup sells to PE firm

Denver-based AirDNA sold to investor

AirDNA, founded in 2014, was acquired by California-based Alpine Investors, which plans to expand services to short-term rental hosts. (BusinessDen file)

A Denver-based short-term rental data analytics startup has been acquired by a private equity firm, which wants to expand its services through additional acquisitions.

The deal between AirDNA, founded in 2014, and San Francisco-based Alpine Investors closed this month.

An AirDNA executive declined to disclose the terms, but said Alpine now owns 100 percent of AirDNA. Co-founder Scott Shatford will continue to lead the company as CEO.

Jamie Lane, AirDNA’s vice president of research, said the company had not raised any outside funds prior to the deal, but that AirDNA had been looking for a capital partner for the last two years due to increased competition.

“When the company started in 2014, there wasn’t really a lot of competition in the space,” he said. “But with all the growth we’ve seen in the short-term rental industry, including the new players and consolidation, Alpine really sets us up so we can be the one making the moves and stay competitive going forward.”

AirDNA collects data from companies like Airbnb, Vrbo and HomeAway. Lane said the company has between 15,000 and 20,000 current customers, and 85,000 total in 65 countries since inception, a majority of which are individual owners of short-term rentals. He added that the startup saw a 111 percent increase in customers from 2020 to 2021.

Short-term rental owners can use the service to help determine how much to charge, how their booking activity compares to others and where to set up their next rental property, according to the company.

Other customers include larger enterprises and tourism authorities across the world, according to AirDNA.

An individual host looking to leverage self-serve insights for a particular city can pay as little as $20 a month for a subscription. Enterprise customers “buy very granular data pulls, reports, and API integrations at various cadences, but typically pay in the tens of thousands of dollars range for annual subscriptions,” Lane said.

Shatford told BusinessDen in late 2019 that AirDNA had $4.5 million in revenue in 2018 and was on track for $9 million in 2019. The company didn’t provide more recent figures.

Lane said that Alpine and AirDNA now want to acquire other companies that will allow the company to offer additional services to existing customers, such as those related to revenue or property management. Lane said the company also wants to offer more tools that benefit hotel operators and vacation rental management companies.

“Alpine has a bank of experience in the data and hospitality software industry, and they put people first in terms of growing and training management,” Lane said. “The firm also has other portfolio companies in the hospitality and short-term rental space and aligned with our values.”

AirDNA has a staff of nearly 100, a figure that Lane said could grow by 50 percent over the next year. The startup has a 5,500-square-foot office at 1509 Blake St. in downtown Denver, plus one in Barcelona, and is looking to expand.

“We love the area and plan on staying in the neighborhood as we grow,” Lane said.

While Shatford stays on as CEO, the company has hired Demi Horvat as chief operating officer. Horvat went through Alpine’s “CEO Program,” which recruits, develops and places leaders into the firm’s portfolio companies.

Denver-based AirDNA sold to investor

AirDNA, founded in 2014, was acquired by California-based Alpine Investors, which plans to expand services to short-term rental hosts. (BusinessDen file)

Co-founder Scott Shatford will remain CEO of Denver-based AirDNA, which expects to increase its staff of nearly 100 by 50 percent in the next year.

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