Tech Pitch: Edge Retreats

Having started as no more than a travel blog, this global villa rental platform now offers luxury properties in 50 countries. Startups takes a closer look...

Company name: Edge Retreats
Founder: Luke McCormick (35)
Background: McCormick has extensive travel industry experience, most recently at Secret Escapes. He has a background in marketing and is also a published travel writer and blogger.
Based in: City of London
Launched: 2015

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

EdgeRetreats.com is the destination for booking the world’s best villas. We work with owners and property managers across the globe to curate a selection of the finest properties in 50 countries.

We’re simplifying the process of finding and booking luxury villas around the world while offering exceptional concierge service and online user experience.

Our clients and suppliers rarely want to use mass-market products like Airbnb, so there is a real opportunity to develop a high-end rental marketplace that focuses on their needs.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

The luxury villa rental market is highly fragmented and extremely destination-focused, and is currently experiencing rapid growth. So we have a great opportunity to set a high quality bar and build a strong global brand and business that helps our clients find and book the best villas around the world, and which also gives our suppliers access to a global audience to help them make better use of their inventory.

Is Edge Retreats funded?

We’ve raised £1.6m from early-stage VCs Forward Partners and Lean Investments and a select group of angels.

What were you doing before you started Edge Retreats?

I was working at Secret Escapes managing digital marketing acquisition before starting the company. The site actually started as a travel blog dedicated to uncovering the best hotels and villas. It was while building the blog’s following that I realised there was no truly global marketplace for showcasing the best luxury villas and homes I was discovering.

What’s the best thing about being based in London?

London is a great base to develop a strong global business. We’ve been lucky enough to benefit from the concentration of tech, product and business talent in London that has allowed us to scale quickly.

Browse Startups’ free guides to learn more about starting a business in London.

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