Investment and development company NOM is putting 4 million into fast-growing Assen-based online booking platform Vipio. Unlike booking sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com, Vipio selects only special accommodations. This under the motto "Life is too short for boring overnight stays." For example, you can find tree houses, castles, beach houses, gypsy cottages and windmills throughout Europe. Vipio's selection team finds about 5% of the accommodation offerings special enough for the platform.
Since its launch in 2020, more than 100,000 people have already traveled through Vipio. With the capital raised, Vipio wants to further improve its platform and accelerate international growth. Vipio is therefore looking for many new employees, especially software developers, online marketers and sales staff.
One of the founders of Vipio is René Schoenmakers, co-founder and longtime
CEO of the well-known auction platform Catawiki. NOM was also an early investor in Catawiki in 2010. When sold in 2020, it resulted in the highest return NOM has ever made on an investment. Back in 2001, NOM also invested in Schoenmakers' companies The Missing Link and Wisdom, which were sold to Ordina in 2006.
Schoenmakers: "After Catawiki, I was eager to start something new again. The best phase of a company is the initial phase, where everything can still go either way. That continues to attract me. I happened to be looking with my son for a really special accommodation for a weekend away together. Finally, with a lot of effort, I found something on a camping website and figured that a specialized platform could have helped me here. Thus, Vipio was born. The concept is also unconsciously similar to Catawiki: selection of special overnight stays versus selection of special objects. Because of the always pleasant cooperation with NOM, and the successful results, we chose them again as investor."
"If you look for something special on other platforms, you often spend hours struggling through the standard offerings. You can't see the forest for the trees because worldwide there are more than 15 million vacation accommodations. Hopelessly many. Our mission is to select the truly special ones from among them. For example, we have just added Freddie Mercury's former vacation home. Who wouldn't want to sleep there? Our selection team approaches these kinds of special places themselves. We also receive many spontaneous applications from B&Bs, campsites and boutique hotels, many of which we unfortunately have to reject because they are not special enough. Prices range from 50 euros to 10,000 euros per night and are therefore suitable for every budget," said Mark Borgman, co-founder and CMO of Vipio.
NOM is pleased with the investment in Vipio. Investment Manager Marco de Jong: "We are obviously investing in Vipio because René and his team have a good track record, but mainly because we see that Vipio is responding to a strongly growing segment of travelers who want something special and want to be helped with that."