Deal part of venture capitalist subsidiary’s ‘reimagining the accommodation experience’ vision
Jet Blue Technology Ventures invests in rentals insights specialist Transparent
The backing from the carrier’s venture capital subsidiary will support Transparent’s expansion of its commercial team.
Prior to JTV, Transparent had previously raised funding from Madrid-based K Fund, New York-based Highgate Ventures and Paris-based Kima Ventures.
JetBlue said the financing aligns with its ‘reimagining the accommodation experience’ vision and supports its broader goal of positioning the airline with start-up innovation.
Transparent builds and maintains a platform that aggregates data on rental market conditions including prices, occupancy and competition.
It was founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Pierre Becerril, Nil Sanz and Drew Patterson to help property managers, real estate investors, online travel agencies and tourism boards make informed decisions.
The company has aggregated millions of anonymised reservations and indexed more than 36 million listings globally to help thousands of users make sense of the rental industry.
Ryan Chou, investment associate at JetBlue Technology Ventures, said: “Given JetBlue’s interest in offering short-term rental options to its customers and the travel industry’s recent demand volatility, accurate data is imperative to making sound business decisions.
“Our investment in Transparent not only provides us with valuable insight in the short-term rental market, but also a partnership with one of the leading startups in the vacation rentals space.”
Transparent estimates the rental industry will generate $75 billion in gross booking value in 2021.
Clients and partners include Amadeus, Booking.com, Four Seasons, Marriott, Hopper, the Hawaii Tourism Board, and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Becerril said: “One in every three beds available to travellers in the US are hosted in a vacation rental as opposed to a traditional hotel.
“As travellers’ appetite for this type of accommodation grows, there is a need for business intelligence tools to help market participants make informed decisions on pricing, investment and strategy.
“During COVID-19, 25% of bookings occurred in short term rentals, accelerating a long term shift toward this form of accommodation.
“JTV’s interest in our company is a reaffirmation of the vacation rental industry having moved out of the shadow of the hotel sector to emerge as a major player in the travel and hospitality ecosystem in its own right.”