Wimdu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Wimdu GmbH
Privately held company (GmbH)
Industry Tourism
Founded March 2011; 7 years ago (2011-03)
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Area served
Global
Services hospitality service
Owners Novasol
Number of employees
150 (2018)
Website wimdu.com
Footnotes / references
Company Register

Wimdu is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms. The company does not own any lodging; it is merely a broker and receives commissions in conjunction with every booking.[1][2][3] Platinum Wimdu offers more than 350,000 property listings in more than 150 countries. It is owned by Wimdu GmbH, which is owned by Novasol, a subsidiary of Platinum Equity. [4]

Wimdu is available in 15 languages, including English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French and Italian.

How it works[edit]

Users of the Wimdu website must register a personal online identity, with a valid email address. Alternatively, Wimdu users can log in with an existing Facebook account. Profiles include reviews to build reputation and trust between users of the online marketplace.[5] Wimdu receives a commission of 3% from the host and 12% from the guest. Wimdu supports different payment methods, including credit card, direct debit and wire transfer. For security purposes, all payments are retained for 24 hours after check-in, so that guests can check their accommodation for problems.[6] In addition to the website, there are mobile apps for iOS devices,[7] although Android is currently not supported.

History[edit]

Wimdu was registered as a limited company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, GmbH) in March 2011.[8] Arne Bleckwenn and Hinrich Dreiling, the founders of Wimdu, founded and managed several other startups before.[9][10] Shortly after Wimdu launched, the company received $90 million in funding from Kinnevik and Rocket Internet.[11] At the time, this was the largest investment in a European startup ever.[12] WirtschaftsWoche rated Wimdu among the most important startups of 2011.[13] Online for less than 100 days, Wimdu already offered 10,000 properties worldwide. Because the Chinese market is different, Wimdu started a spin-off business there called Airizu.[14] Shortly after the launch of Wimdu, Airbnb publicity criticized the business model.[15] Nevertheless, Airbnb considered acquiring Wimdu,[16] but finally decided against it.[17][18]

By 2012, Wimdu claimed to be the biggest social accommodation website from Europe.[19] After the first year in business, Wimdu gained booking revenues of $6.6 million per month and expected more than $100 million for the whole year 2012.[20][21] Later that year, the company fundamentally changed its growth strategy: Activities of international offices were reduced, some employees moved back to the Berlin headquarters.[22] The media reported that the restructuring was due to rising costs incurred by rapid growth.[23] 2013, Wimdu closed its China subsidiary Airizu, now doing business there under their main brand.[24] When it comes to Germany in particular, peer-to-peer property rental companies faced new regulatory requirements beginning in 2013.[25][26] While competitors like 9flats left Berlin,[27] Wimdu continued its operations there.[28]

By June 2013, Wimdu offered 100,000 accommodations in 150 countries.[29] The same year, media reported that Rocket Internet wanted at moments to sell Wimdu.[30][31] In October 2014, the founders Arne Bleckwenn and Hinrich Dreiling left Wimdu at their own request.[32] The management was handed over to Arne Kahlke und Sören Kress,[33] Bleckwenn and Dreiling took a position in the advisory board.[34] Wimdu further expanded its activities at the Berlin headquarters.[35] From 2013 to 2014, Wimdu increased the number of bookings by 31%.[36] 2015, Mediaset and Wimdu signed a media for equity deal.[37] The Italian media conglomerate invested million euros in the Berlin company, which received advertising on the Mediaset TV channels in return.[38] In the following months, Wimdu expanded in Italy, Spain and other Southern European countries.[39] The Mediaset-deal was significant for this.[40][41]

The city of Berlin adopted a law that restricts private apartment rentals.[42][43] This was primarily due to the housing shortage.[44] In April 2016, Wimdu filed a lawsuit against the law, which received a lot of public attention.[45][46] The company argued that the law illegally restricts the fundamental rights of hosts.[47] Author of the lawsuit is Helge Sodan, former president of the constitutional court of Berlin.[48] Although the lawsuit will likely be successful,[49] the Senate of Berlin continues to uphold the law.[50] A decision is expected for mid-2016.

In October 2016, the company announced a merger with 9flats.[51][52]

However, in December 2016, the company was sold to Danish company Novasol.[53]

Investment AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet have invested in the company.[54]

Controversies[edit]

Rocket Internet, which is headed up by the Samwer brothers and invested heavily in Wimdu, is renowned for its aggressive entrepreneurship and leadership style.[55][56][57] Wimdu has been accused several times of being a clone of Airbnb,[58][59] as their business-model and website design is remarkably similar.[60] In response, representatives of the company stated that although the concept may seem similar, Wimdu has a unique approach,[61] treating "different countries, different cultures, in different ways".[62] Wimdu offers a "hotel light" experience in a market where Airbnb has the "first mover advantage".[63] Both Airbnb and Wimdu have been in a fierce competition, especially in German-speaking Europe.[64]

In January 2016, Wimdu was accused of leaving their hosts alone to deal with vandalism: Die Zeit, Stern reported that Wimdu refused to compensate a Berlin apartment that had been destroyed, beyond offering a dedicated "insurance" for such damages.[65][66] Wimdu denied the allegations and pointed out that the host had demanded an "excessive refund" in this case.[67] Die Zeit took on the position of Wimdu and invited experts to check their standard form contract, which was deemed to be unsatisfactory for many cases discussed before.[68]

May 30th 2016 a dutch TV program (Groeten van Max) showed a B&B being duped - as their images were used by someone else. As they informed Wimdu about it, Wimdu ignored the problem - allowing others to be duped by a fake room/apartment being advertised, plus damaging the reputation of the original B&B. When confronted by representatives of Groeten van Maxat at their head office, they refused to comment and expelled them. [69]

In April 2018, the city of Paris files a lawsuit against Wimdu and its competitor AirBnB for violating local laws. Flats and houses without specific registration numbers had been illegally listed. [70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wortham, Jenna (July 25, 2011). "Room to Rent, via the Web". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Higgins, Michelle (4 January 2012). "19 Web Sites for Travel Savings in 2012". The New York Times. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Choat, Isabel (28 June 2013). "How to find and book a holiday apartment online". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Wyndham Worldwide Announces Completion of its Sale of its European Vacation Rentals Business" (Press release). Parsippany, N.J.: Platinum Equity. 9 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Lunn, Emma (11 October 2014). "Using Airbnb, Wimdu or another social travel site? How to avoid being conned". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ "Wimdu to check-in with global insurance, traveller protection to follow". tnooz.com. 24 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "iTunes Preview". App Store (iOS). 
  8. ^ "Wimdu GmbH". Company Register. Bundesanzeiger. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Arne Bleckwenn". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Hinrich Dreiling". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ Hüsing, Alexander (June 15, 2011). "Zimmerdreikampf: Wimdu sammelt 90 Millionen US-Dollar ein". deutsche-startups.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ Schmidt, Holger (June 15, 2011). "Rekord: Start-Up Wimdu erhält 90 Millionen Dollar Finanzspritze". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Gründer: Die wichtigsten Startups". WirtschaftsWoche (in German). Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ Ohr, Thomas (May 10, 2011). "Wimdu enters the Chinese market with Airizu". eu-startups.com. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  15. ^ Tsotsis, Alexia (June 9, 2011). "Airbnb Freaks Out Over Samwer Clones". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  16. ^ Kaczmarek, Joel (2014). Die Paten des Internets (in German) (3rd ed.). Munich: FinanzBuch Verlag. p. 397. ISBN 978-3-86248-353-2. 
  17. ^ Rao, Leena (October 11, 2013). "Brian Chesky Talks About Why Airbnb Didn't Acquire European Clone Wimdu, Global Growth And More". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  18. ^ Räth, Georg (October 14, 2013). "Airbnb hätte beinahe Wimdu übernommen". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  19. ^ Fryatt, Linsey (March 22, 2013). "Wimdu vs Airbnb – the battle for Europe hots up ahead of London 2012 Olympics". The Heureka. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  20. ^ Wauters, Robin (March 22, 2012). "After one year, Airbnb rival Wimdu is big. How big? $132 million a year big". The Next Web. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  21. ^ Kaczmarek, Joel (March 22, 2012). "Wimdu gibt erstmals Zahlen bekannt". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ Hofmann, Alex (September 19, 2012). "Wimdu streicht internationale Büros zusammen". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ Hofmann, Alex (September 20, 2012). "Airbnb rival Wimdu confirms cuts to international offices, refocus on Berlin". The Heureka. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  24. ^ Horwitz, Josh (July 12, 2013). "Rocket Internet has reportedly shuttered Airizu, its struggling Airbnb clone in China". The Next Web. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  25. ^ Prophet, Isabell (October 25, 2013). "Die Jagd auf die Untervermieter". Die Welt (in German). p. 30. 
  26. ^ Thurm, Frida (November 27, 2013). "Auch deutsche Wohnplattformen sollen Daten herausgeben". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Nach Verbot von Ferienwohnungen gibt Vermittler 9flats in Berlin auf". Berliner Morgenpost (in German). November 27, 2013. p. 6. 
  28. ^ Räth, Magdalena (November 27, 2013). "Airbnb rival 9flats shuts down office in Berlin". The Heureka. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  29. ^ "Mit Wimdu günstig nächtigen". Kronen Zeitung (in German). June 9, 2013. p. 10. 
  30. ^ Räth, Magdalena (January 29, 2013). "Wimdu findet keine Abnehmer". gruenderszene.de (in German). 
  31. ^ Dörner, Stephan (January 29, 2013). "Samwer-Brüder werden Wimdu nicht los". The Wall Street Journal (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  32. ^ Hüsing, Alexander (October 30, 2014). "Bleckwenn und Dreiling verlassen Zimmervermittler Wimdu". deutsche-startups.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Wimdu-Gründer geben Geschäftsführung ab". gruenderszene.de (in German). October 30, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  34. ^ Hüsing, Alexander (October 30, 2014). "Bleckwenn und Dreiling verlassen Zimmervermittler Wimdu". deutsche-startups.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Wo Mitarbeiter von anderen Ländern träumen". deutsche-startups.de (in German). November 5, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  36. ^ Ohr, Thomas (May 6, 2015). "5 unexpected things Rocket Internet's annual report for 2014 reveals". eu-startups.com. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  37. ^ Bockenheimer, Johannes (February 6, 2015). "Mediaset steigt bei Berliner Zimmervermittler Wimdu ein". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  38. ^ Wirminghaus, Niklas (February 5, 2015). "Wimdu schließt Media-Deal mit Berlusconis Sendergruppe". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  39. ^ Schröder, Miriam (April 28, 2015). "Deutsche Urlauber wollen keine Katzen". Handelsblatt (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Berlusconi-Konzern steigt bei Zimmervermittler Wimdu ein". Berliner Morgenpost (in German). February 5, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  41. ^ Hegemann, Lisa (February 6, 2015). "Wimdu: Werbe-Deal mit Berlusconis Mediaset". WirtschaftsWoche (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  42. ^ Eisenring, Christoph (April 16, 2016). "Wo Berlin uncool ist". Neue Zürcher Zeitung (in German). 
  43. ^ Rada, Uwe; Schmalz, Sophie; Schneider, Eva (April 24, 2016). "Jetzt wird es ernst". Die Tageszeitung (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  44. ^ Tietz, Janko (August 12, 2013). "Tourismus: Teilen verboten". Der Spiegel (in German). 
  45. ^ "Portal Wimdu.de klagt gegen Berliner Ferienwohnungsverbot". Berliner Morgenpost (in German). April 14, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Internetportal klagt gegen Ferienwohnungsverbot in Berlin". Handelsblatt (in German). April 24, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Online-Portal Wimdu klagt gegen Berlin". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). April 15, 2016. p. 9. 
  48. ^ Aulich, Uwe (April 15, 2016). "Wimdu verklagt das Land Berlin". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 
  49. ^ Jürgens, Isabell (March 10, 2015). "Verbot von Ferienwohnungen könnte verfassungswidrig sein". Die Welt (in German). p. 25. 
  50. ^ Aulich, Uwe (April 18, 2016). "Der Senat bleibt hart". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 
  51. ^ Lomas, Natasha (10 October 2016). "Airbnb rivals Wimdu and 9flats consolidate". TechCrunch. 
  52. ^ Sheivachman, Andrew (10 October 2016). "Airbnb's Most Well-Funded European Rival Wimdu Is Acquired by 9flats". Skift. 
  53. ^ Whyte, Patrick (5 December 2016). "Wyndham Steps Up Investment in Sharing Economy With Two New European Deals". Skift. 
  54. ^ Wauters, Robin (14 June 2011). "Investors Pump $90 Million Into Airbnb Clone Wimdu". TechCrunch. 
  55. ^ Cowan, Matt (March 2, 2012). "Inside the clone factory: The story of Germany's Samwer brothers". Wired. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  56. ^ Chafkin, Max (May 29, 2012). "Lessons From the World's Most Ruthless Competitor". Inc. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  57. ^ Laaff, Meike (October 1, 2014). "Die Ideenkopierer". Die Tageszeitung (in German). p. 4. 
  58. ^ Kaczmarek, Joel (April 8, 2011). "Samwers starten Airbnb-Klon Wimdu". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  59. ^ "Internet companies: Attack of the clones". The Economist. August 6, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  60. ^ Kaczmarek, Joel (June 10, 2011). "Airbnb wettert gegen Wimdu(?)" (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  61. ^ Maatz, Björn (May 26, 2012). "Wie Wimdu sich von den Samwer-Brüdern freischwimmt". Financial Times (in German). 
  62. ^ Johnson, Bobbie (March 21, 2012). "With Airbnb expanding in Europe, Wimdu cranks it up". Gigaom. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  63. ^ Hüsing, Alexander (April 29, 2015). "Wimdu wirft sich vorm Konkurrenten airbnb in den Staub". deutsche-startups.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  64. ^ "Airbnb closes Austria operation in battle with Wimdu". TechCrunch. December 20, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  65. ^ "Wohnungsportal Wimdu lässt Vermieter mit Schäden alleine". Die Zeit (in German). January 20, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  66. ^ "Airbnb-Konkurrent zahlt Vermietern bei Vandalismus keinen Schadensersatz". Stern (in German). January 23, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  67. ^ Kyriasoglou, Christina (January 22, 2016). "Führt Wimdu seine Kunden in die Irre?". gruenderszene.de (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  68. ^ Rohrbeck, Felix (February 11, 2016). "Wimdu wehrt sich …". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  69. ^ "Wimdu & waarschuwingsbrief". Groeten van MAX (in Dutch). May 30, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 
  70. ^ Sage, Adam (April 13, 2018). "Paris council sues Airbnb for €43m a day". The Times. Retrieved May 26, 2018. 

External links[edit]