THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW TWO AMBITIOUS PEOPLE—a kid from Brooklyn who went to Boston University and one from San Francisco who went to UC Berkeley—came up with a business model, raised a small round of funding, changed the business model, worked around the clock, and ended up building a global e-commerce company.
"Becoming an entrepreneur is like taking a gigantic, flying leap out of your comfort zone and into the vast unknown. Travel, too, mandates that you quite literally step outside your comfort zone. Here are some of the skills Tripping CEO Jen O'Neal has learned on the road that she leverages daily in her life as a startup founder."
Tripping.com is an example of a rental-search engine. With more than 10 million properties, it bills itself as the largest search engine for rentals and has properties from rental sites, including HomeAway, VRBO, TripAdvisor and Booking.com. That can make property comparison easier than jumping between rental sites.
This service boasts that it offers the world’s largest search engine for short-term rentals and vacation homes, because it allows travelers to compare accommodations available across some of the world’s top rental sites, such as HomeAway, VRBO, TripAdvisor, HouseTrip, Interhome, Roomorama and Booking.
“We find most travelers visit five sites before they book,” said Jeff Manheimer, a founder and the chief operating officer for Tripping.com. Its listings include regional and small networks besides the bigger services like VRBO. “A transaction that was offline is increasingly coming online,” he said.
In the last year, the company doubled its property listings to 10 million – five times that of Airbnb – making it the world's largest search engine for vacation homes and short-term rentals. The company is on track to generate over $500 million in gross bookings this year, a 600 percent increase over 2015.
Finding a vacation rental has historically been a trying and time-consuming task, requiring visits to multiple sites, calls to local property management companies, back-and-forth conversations with property owners… And all you wanted to do was find a great place to spend some time away. That’s where Tripping.com comes in.
“You want your product to be a cultural fit,” said Jen O’Neal, who is the CEO of Tripping.com (the company is the world’s largest vacation rental search engine with more than 8 million listings). “Cultural tastes can vary dramatically across borders. For instance, we launched Tripping.com in Germany specifically because German people have a long history of staying in vacation rentals both within the country and throughout Europe.”
As of Monday, Tripping.com, a leading vacation rental website, said there were more than 1,400 vacation rental properties available this weekend, with the most affordable rate being $60 per night. Jen O’Neal, CEO of Tripping.com, said the availability of rooms ranged from affordable apartments to a three bedroom oceanfront condo for $426 per night.