Debbie Wosskow, founder of Love Home Swap
London-based Love Home Swap, one of the world’s largest home exchange programmes, has been snapped up by RCI in a £40m deal.
Through the acquisition, RCI adds a company that complements its existing business, broadens its appeal to a new base of holidaymakers and strengthens its position as a leader within the global alternative holiday accommodation sector.
“Since first pioneering the vacation exchange concept more than 40 years ago, RCI has continually found new ways to evolve and grow its own business while also propelling the exchange industry further,” said Gordon Gurnik, president of RCI.
“Through this acquisition we expand the exchange options we offer travelers and strengthen our footprint in key growth markets across the globe.”
As part of the RCI family of brands, Love Home Swap will benefit from the core competencies RCI has developed over the past four decades as the leader in vacation exchange, including inventory management, member marketing and analytics.
The company will also enjoy the added resources that come with being part of a global hospitality leader like Wyndham Worldwide, along with potential access to its portfolio of accommodation options around the world.
Love Home Swap, which has established a strong, loyal consumer base, will continue to run as an independent brand and be marketed separately from RCI.
However, the similarities among these exchange-oriented businesses will allow for greater collaboration between the companies to foster growth and provide future travel benefits to their respective members.
RCI’s acquisition of Love Home Swap builds upon a previous investment in the company in 2015. Love Home Swap Founder, Debbie Wosskow, will remain on as an advisor to ensure a smooth transition into the RCI family.
Ben Wosskow, formerly chief commercial officer, has been appointed to managing director and will oversee the daily operations of the business.
“I’d like to thank the team and everyone involved in driving Love Home Swap forward,” said Debbie Wosskow. “Dedication and hard work has yielded fantastic results in a short space of time and this is a real global success story for the UK sharing economy.
"We’re delighted to join the RCI family and are excited to work closely with them to help shape the future of the travel industry together.”
MMC Ventures was one of the first companies to invest in Love Home Swap after making a subsequent investment in 2013 - injecting a total of around £2.65m across two funding rounds.
Managing partner, Bruce Macfarlane, sat on the board of Love Home Swap and supported the growth of the company throughout the six year relationship.
Speaking of the deal, he said: "MMC Ventures has backed Love Home Swap from seed through growth capital and is proud of the company and founder Debbie Wosskow's pioneering success in the sharing economy.
"Today’s announcement is a great testament to the team’s focus and determination and we are delighted to have supported the company on this journey."
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