PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the under-the-radar investments is about to grow faster than more well-known industries. The sharing economy is rapidly growing and evolving… rapidly! The two most common examples of the sharing economy are the sharing of private vehicles via ride sharing companies like Uber and the sharing of private residences and lodging via accommodation websites. This accommodation form of peer-to-peer exchange has been growing for the past several years. In 2015, Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) indicated that they had over one million hosts on their site, and over the summer of 2015, indicated their hosts were accommodating over a million guests per night, making them comparable in inventory and transaction volume to the world's largest hotel brands… but it has grown quickly since then and is set for their IPO very soon. A recent report from Statista said that the sharing economy services have exploded in popularity over recent years with many expecting this trend to continue, with the total value of the global sharing economy predicted to increase to some 335 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, from only 15 billion U.S. dollars in 2014. Active companies in the markets this week include: TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), World Series of Golf, Inc. (OTC: WSGF), Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Expedia Group (NASDAQ: EXPE), Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG).
According to a report from a hospitality insider found that: "There no longer is any question that the sharing economy-and the short-term rental market specifically is here to stay. Once dismissed as a relatively inconsequential niche product and a distant cousin to traditional hotels, STRs have become a widely accepted, mainstream form of nightly accommodation. STRs total more than 10% of the size of the traditional U.S. hotel room supply and, according to Skift Travel, have become an estimated $115 billion industry as of 2019. This alternative lodging market has evolved from catering to the adventurous, millennial leisure traveler to targeting core hotel guests like the business traveler, a la Airbnb Plus. Given the undeniable change underway in the lodging sector, historical hotel valuation underwriting practices will no longer suffice. A reasonable understanding of the short-term rental market is required for properly valuing hotels."
World Series of Golf, Inc. (OTCPK: WSGF) BREAKING NEWS: WSGF – P2P Short-Term Rental Investment Firm Vaycaychella Adds New Caribbean 3 Unit Property To Portfolio Available On Airbnb - World Series of Golf, Inc. ("WSGF"), through its sharing economy technology subsidiary serving the short-term rental market, Vaycaychella, today announced closing on the acquisition of a historic building in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The property has three units which will be made available for short-term rentals through Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com after the property is refurbished.
WSGF is in the process of changing its corporate name in conjunction with the acquisition of Vaycaychella earlier this year. "We here at Vaycaychella are enthusiastic participants in the sharing economy specifically tied to the short-term rental sector of the sharing economy currently spotlighted by the pending Airbnb IPO," said William "Bill" Justice, CEO of Vayaychella. "We have built a pilot ecosystem model connecting investors with individuals seeking the development and operation of short-term rental properties. Over the past three years we have partnered with vacation property operators in the Caribbean to build a portfolio of properties with an estimated value over $10 million. Now, we are excited to scale that model with the introduction of a peer-to-peer application, also known as a P2P app, automating the connection between investors and prospective short-term rental property owners and operators."
To learn more about Vaycaychella's strategy to capitalize its own growth in conjunction with the Airbnb IPO, see CEO William "Bill" Justice's letter to investors published Friday, December 4th. Vaycaychella recently announced inviting individuals to sign up as Beta Users to begin testing the Vaycaychella P2P Investment App. Vaycaychella's vision is to empower existing and would-be short-term rental property owners to access investment capital for property acquisitions and improvements financed outside the conventional lending and investment market.
Through Vaycaychella's P2P app, small business lenders and investors, and even private individuals can connect with entrepreneurial short-term property rental operators to access real estate leveraged investment opportunities not usually available through conventional brokers and agents. Likewise, entrepreneurial short-term property rental operators now have access to a wider variety of investment options than ordinarily available through conventional channels.
Vaycaychella has built a pilot client base serving a Caribbean based vacation property owner with 10 beachfront community vacation homes currently under management. Vaycaychella has financed the property owner to acquire and refurbish the 10 premium properties which serve as collateral on Vaycaychella's investment.
Last week, Vaycaychella announced adding a boutique hotel in the Caribbean to its portfolio of short-term rental properties available on sharing economy apps like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com. Sharing economy apps are taking an increasing share of the $32 billion Caribbean vacation market. Today, Vaycaychella adds the property in Puerto Rico to its portfolio. Once refurbishment is completed, the building will include three short-term rental units available on sharing economy apps like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com. To learn more and keep up with the latest updates, visit https://www.vaycaychella.com/.
Other recent developments in the sharing industry include:
Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) recently announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2020 and provided details on its recent operating progress. "The entire Groupon organization is focused on returning the company to growth and in the third quarter, we made notable progress," said Aaron Cooper, Interim CEO of Groupon. "We increased inventory by 50 percent in our test markets and launched several product features, all aimed at increasing Groupon's ability to drive engagement with merchants and consumers. At the same time, in the midst of the global pandemic, we drove sequential quarterly Billings growth, continued to take costs out of the business and gained operating leverage, further demonstrating the durability of our business model. These solid results are a testament to the hard work of our organization and we believe we are well positioned to take share in the trillion dollar Local market."
Since the start of the global pandemic, we have stabilized our business and launched a growth strategy. As a result, we've not only generated free cash flow since the end of March, we have also built a cash position as of September 30, 2020 (excluding our revolver) that is higher than our cash position at the same time last year. With a solid balance sheet and a focused organization, we have a strong foundation that should allow us to both weather the volatility of COVID-19, and execute our growth strategy. Our strategy is focused on driving customer purchase frequency and unlocking our marketplace flywheel, which we believe will allow us to achieve sustainable, top-line growth. Delivering on our core merchant and customer value propositions is also at the center of our growth strategy.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) the world's largest travel platform, recently announced the launch of two new technology solutions for hotels – Spotlight and Reputation Pro – to help hospitality businesses rebuild traveler confidence, attract new customers and make smart, data-driven decisions to increase profitability during these unprecedented times.
Combining the latest technology and software with Tripadvisor's unrivalled reach and scale, both Spotlight and Reputation Pro offer something new to the market, empowering hospitality businesses with the tools they need to increase customer confidence in their brand, forecast demand and set the most profitable nightly rates. The combined launch signals Tripadvisor's increased focus on delivering best-in-class technology solutions that will help the hospitality industry recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, following the launch of popular free tools such as Travel Safe and Contactless Menus and the global rollout of Menu Connect earlier this year.
Expedia Group (NASDAQ: EXPE) recently released new versions of the Brand Expedia®, Hotwire® and Vrbo® iOS apps to take advantage of the capabilities available in iOS 14. The features will unlock new ways to view the latest travel deals with Hotwire, and easily access upcoming reservation details booked through Brand Expedia and Vrbo.
"Given all that is happening right now, many people across the globe are looking to travel as a way to cope and recharge during this crisis through a change of scenery, exploration and the chance to safely create new memories," said Tucker Moodey, President of Retail Product & Technology, Expedia Group. "Harnessing the latest iOS 14 features, our brands joined forces to provide added support and greater transparency to help travelers plan and find much-needed discounts, making travel more accessible and worry-free."
Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) recently reported its 3rd quarter 2020 financial results. Third quarter gross travel bookings for Booking Holdings Inc. which refers to the total dollar value, generally inclusive of taxes and fees, of all travel services booked by its customers, net of cancellations, were $13.4 billion, a decrease of 47% over a year ago (approximately a 48% decrease on a constant-currency basis). Room nights booked in the 3rd quarter decreased over a year ago. The Company's results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 have been significantly and negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting government orders.
Booking Holdings' total revenues for the 3rd quarter of 2020 were $2.6 billion, a 48% decrease from the prior year (approximately a 49% decrease on a constant-currency basis). Net income in the 3rd quarter of 2020 was $801 million, a 59% decrease as compared to the prior year. Net income for the 3rd quarter of 2020 includes an unrealized gain on marketable equity securities of $730 million while the 3rd quarter of 2019 includes an unrealized loss on marketable equity securities of $49 million. Additionally, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $573 million for OpenTable and KAYAK goodwill and unrecognized tax benefits of $64 million related to French and Italian tax matters in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Net income in the 3rd quarter of 2020 was $19.49 per diluted share, a 57% decrease as compared to the prior year.
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