American hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide’s timeshare vacation business, RCI has acquired London-based home exchange programme, Love Home Swap for a speculated £40 million. Love Home Swap was founded by sharing economy pioneer and serial entrepreneur-turned investor, Debbie Wosskow in 2011.
RCI is the largest timeshare vacation exchange network in the world, and with this acquisition, the business aims to broaden 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 travellers 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 RCI’s home-brewed vacation exchange technology, developed over the past four decades, including inventory management, member marketing and analytics. The company will also enjoy the added resources that come with being part of the global hotel chain, Wyndham Worldwide, along with potential access to its portfolio of accommodation options around the world.
Love Home Swap will continue to run as an independent brand and be marketed separately from RCI. The acquisition of Love Home Swap follows a previous investment in the company in 2015. Love Home Swap founder, Debbie Wosskow, will remain on as an advisor to transition the business 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.”
Love Home Swap’s lead investor, MMC Ventures, first invested in the company the same year it was founded, and made a subsequent investment in 2013 – injecting a total of around £2.65 million across the two rounds. “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,” said MMC managing partner, Bruce Macfarlane, who sat on the board of Love Home Swap and supported the growth of the company throughout the six year relationship. The deal is MMC’s second female-led exit in less than a year.