Love Home Swap closes maiden acquisition as it gets the keys to 1stHomeExchange

Venture capital-backed Love Home Swap has landed its first acquisition, using the investment capital it secured through its two 2012 fundraisings.

London-based Love Home Swap has bought 1stHomeExchange and reportedly trebled the size of its portfolio of properties to 35,000.

The international holiday home exchange website, which was founded by Debbie Wosskow, is also reviewing further acquisition targets ahead of a planned third institutional funding round in Autumn 2013.

Back in January 2012, Love Home Swap secured its first institutional funding round when MMC Ventures led an £850,000 round.

The London-based investor then injected a further £800,000 into Love Home Swap in November, providing Wosskow with the capital she needed to grow the business.

Wosskow has previously co-founded internet protocol television business TripleSEE, as well as founding creative industry advisory business Maidthorn Partners.

Her Love Home Swap business, which was founded in 2011, derives its revenues through membership subscriptions, with premium signups gaining access to a ‘dedicated travel team’, personal concierge and travel guides.

‘1stHomeExchange were one of the world’s biggest home exchange sites, with particularly strong coverage in Continental Europe and North America,’ says Wosskow.

‘The deal will allow us to accelerate the growth of the Love Home Swap business and offer the widest range of stylish homes and locations for our members to swap around the world.’

As well as purchasing 1stHomeExchange, Love Home Swap has also launched a French language version to take advantage of what it calls ‘the world’s most requested swap destination’.

Statistics from OnePoll reveals that twice as many people home swapped in 2012 than in 2011, an increase from 1.6 million to 3.3 million in the UK.

MMC Ventures is geared towards technology-focused sectors, such as financial and business services, and invests around £10 million a year. Sitting alongside Love Home Swap in its portfolio are companies including digital rights management venture Base79 and customer intelligence service iJento.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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