STARTUPS

Austin startup TurnKey Vacation Rentals lands $21 million for expansion

TurnKey will use the money to break into new markets and expand its mobile platform.

Posted March 9th, 2017

A year ago, Austin’s TurnKey Vacation Rentals raised $10 million to expand its vacation rental management service. Today, after a year of fast growth, the startup will announce it has raised an additional $21 million.

Founded in 2013, TurnKey provides an online service that handles the process of renting out a vacation home, from marketing it on sites like HomeAway and Airbnb to sending a cleaning service when guests leave.

The lead investor in the new round of funding was Adams Street Partners of Chicago. Existing investors including Altos Ventures and Silverton Partners also participated. The new money brings to company’s total capital raised to $41 million.

TurnKey will use the funding to break into new markets, add new listings and accelerate development of its mobile technology platform.

“On the eve of the South by Southwest technology conference in Austin, the timing couldn’t be better to fund the next stage of TurnKey,” said Jeff Diehl, managing partner and head of investments at Adams Street Partners. “TurnKey is setting a new standard for the private accommodations industry, and we’re excited to partner with the management team.”

RELATED: After raising $10 million, Austin’s TurnKey Vacation Rentals is in expansion mode.

TurnKey is in 40 markets, most of them popular tourist destinations such as Aspen, Colo., Palm Springs, Calif., Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Sarasota, Fla. It also offers services in a handful of larger metro areas such as Austin and Seattle.

At the end of last year, TurnKey had about 1,800 properties under management. The company plans to double the number of properties this year.

TurnKey’s service includes setting a rate, promoting the home on vacation rental sites, responding to guest inquiries and handling reservations.

When a property is booked, TurnKey oversees the visit, including check-ins, cleaning and maintenance. Guests check in using a digital lock that doesn’t need a key, and they download a mobile app to get property information and to reach TurnKey staff.

This year, TurnKey will roll out virtual tours, floor plans and 3D models of all its homes.

“We’ve focused on building a technology and logistics platform combined with local hospitality that enables us to deliver the consistency you’d expect from a hotel, along with the unique flavor that makes private accommodations so appealing,” said T.J. Clark, TurnKey co-founder and CEO.

The company competes with traditional property management firms. It charges property owners 18 percent of bookings, which would mean $36 for a $200-a-night rental. 

Although some cities including Austin have taken steps to limit certain types of short-term rentals, TurnKey says its focus is on vacation spots, where such rentals are popular.

The company started 2017 with about 240 employees, and said it plans to add about 100 workers this year.

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