HomeAway opens door to $250 million funding round

The vacation home rental site lands the largest U.S. venture round for an Internet company in the last eight years.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Vacation home rental site HomeAway announced Tuesday it received a substantial $250 million fourth round of funding.

HomeAway, which has raised $405 million to date in private equity, received its latest round from lead investor Technology Crossover Ventures, along with existing investors Institutional Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures.

HomeAway's $250 million third round represents the largest U.S. venture stake for an Internet company over the past eight years, according to Venture Source.

Companies that tend to raise sizable venture rounds in excess of $100 million tend to be in capital intensive industries, such as networking company Santera Systems and telecommunications company Vonage, compared with Internet companies that require less capital to operate--and hence have comparatively smaller funding rounds.

HomeAway plans to use the proceeds from its latest round to make additional strategic investments, as well as eliminate all its debt and bolster its marketing efforts.

Over its brief three-year history, the company has grown through acquisitions of other vacation rental sites such as CyberRentals.com in the U.S., Holiday-Rentals.co.uk in the United Kingdom, and Germany's FeWo-direkt.de.

"We are very pleased to secure this major round of funding, particularly during the current financial crisis that is increasingly restricting access to capital for many companies,"" Brian Sharples, HomeAway's CEO, said in a statement.