9flats Continues Expansion With Purchase of iStopOver
BERLIN, Germany, August 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- 9flats, Europe's leading short term lettings website, expands its global operations with acquisition of North American rentals portal, iStopOver
- Acquisition allows 9flats to double its customer offerings to over 100,000 beds worldwide
9flats, the leading European provider of private short-term rentals, has announced today that it has completed the purchase of international short-term rentals provider iStopOver. Capitalising on the success of previous launches across Europe and Asia, the deal will see 9flats open its first North American hub in Toronto, as well as expanding its customer offerings to more than 100,000 beds around the world.
Founder and CEO of 9flats.com Stephan Uhrenbacher considers this acquisition an important step as it supports the company's strategy in growing its offerings in markets outside of Europe. "North America, one of the world's largest travel markets, is the most important market for 9flats outside of Europe. The integration of iStopOver will strongly contribute to our growth in this region and will both open a completely new geographic target audience for us and double our offerings at the same time. This is the perfect basis from which to grow our business in North America."
Co-Founder and CEO of iStopOver Anthony Lipschitz said "The entire iStopOver family could not be happier with the acquisition. 9flats has the same vision that we've had all along which makes them ideal to take iStopOver into the future. They also have the ability to deliver great innovation as the market matures and continues to develop. We're very happy to be leaving our loyal Hosts and Guests in such great hands for the future."
New and existing clients will benefit from the synergies of both platforms. 9flats will now be able to offer customers a wider variety of options, particularly for those looking to travel in North America, South Africa and Australia, where iStopOver is already active. As well, existing iStopOver customers in the US or Canada who want to discover Europe in a unique way will be able to more easily do so via 9flats. Hosts on both sides of the Atlantic will gain a wider audience for their properties, giving them the opportunity to increase their bookings and there will no longer be booking fees for North American customers thanks to the "no fees" policy of 9flats. In addition, all customers will benefit from 9flats' insurance policy that covers property damages of up to €500,000.
"Our goal is to change how people travel by providing guests with an alternative experience to hotels. We don't want to stop with Europe, which is why the acquisition of iStopOver is such an important factor in the development of our services," continued Stephan Uhrenbacher, CEO of 9flats.
9flats will continue its focus on the expansion of its customer support team. This announcement will also see the 9flats customer service team double in size with new positions being based in the Toronto office. The dedicated 9flats customer service team is available for host or guest queries or emergencies and users can now chat live online directly with service staff.
Please note: Stephan Uhrenbacher is available for interview upon request.
Photo: Stephan Uhrenbacher, LOGO: 9flats
9flats is an online marketplace for private accommodation that facilitates smarter and more local travel. Through the site, members can rent private places worldwide or let out their own place for extra income. 9flats launched in February 2011 and currently lists more than 100,000 beds in more than 100 countries, with properties ranging from private rooms to apartments and houses. 9flats.com was founded by Stephan Uhrenbacher, one of Germany's leading Internet entrepreneurs, who was involved in both the success of travel booking site lastminute.com and founded Qype.com, Europe's most popular local review site. The company's headquarters is located in Berlin and currently employs 100 people.
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