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RCI, the timeshare vacation business of American hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide, has acquired the London-based home exchange program Love Home Swap for a speculated £ 40 million. Love Home Swap was founded by business pioneer and serial entrepreneur Debbie Vosskow in 2011.
RCI is the world’s largest timeshare vacation exchange network. With this acquisition, the company aims to expand its appeal to a new base of vacationers and strengthen its position as the market leader in the global alternative vacation rental sector.
“Since RCI pioneered the vacation exchange concept more than 40 years ago, RCI has consistently found new ways to develop and grow its own business while advancing the exchange industry,” said Gordon Gurnik, President of RCI. “With this acquisition, we are expanding the exchange options we offer travelers and strengthening our presence in key growth markets around the world.”
As part of the RCI family of brands, Love Home Swap will benefit from RCI’s proprietary vacation swap technology developed over the past four decades, which includes inventory management, member marketing and analysis. The company will also have the additional resources associated with being part of the global hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide, as well as the potential access to its portfolio of accommodation options around the world.
Love Home Swap will continue to operate as an independent brand and will be marketed separately from RCI. The Love Home Swap acquisition follows an earlier investment in the company in 2015. Love Home Swap founder Debbie Wosskow will continue to advise on the company’s transition into the RCI family. Ben Wosskow, formerly Chief Commercial Officer, has been appointed Managing Director and will oversee day-to-day operations.
“I’d like to thank the team and everyone involved for driving Love Home Swap,” said Debbie Wosskow. “Commitment and hard work have produced fantastic results in a short period of time and this is a real global success story for the UK sharing economy. We are very excited to join the RCI family and look forward to working closely with them to jointly shape the future of the travel industry. ”
Love Home Swap’s main investor, MMC Ventures, first invested in the company the same year it was founded and made another investment in 2013 that raised a total of around £ 2.65m in both rounds. “MMC Ventures has supported Love Home Swap from seed to growth capital and is proud of the groundbreaking success of the company and founder Debbie Wosskow in the sharing economy. Today’s announcement is great evidence of the team’s focus and determination. We are delighted to have supported the company in this journey, ”said Bruce Macfarlane, Managing Partner of MMC, who served on the board of Love Home Swap and supported the company’s growth over the six year relationship. The deal marks MMC’s second female-led exit in less than a year.