Smedvig Capital backs Vive Unique with £3.5m

Service allows Londoners to rent out their homes whilst they are away

Venture capital firm Smedvig Capital today announced it has invested £3.5m in holiday home rental marketplace Vive Unique, set to accelerate further growth for the rapidly-expanding business.

Launched in 2011 by Claire Whisker and Jonny Morris, Vive Unique operates a professionally-managed service that lets Londoners rent out their homes on short lets whilst they are away, providing visitors with a cheaper alternative to hotels.

Vive Unique manages most aspects of the letting process, including insurance, property management and housekeeping, and the start-up claims that the average householder can earn more than £1,000 per week using the service.

Smedvig said Vive Unique has grown rapidly since launch, along with the rise in short letting services more generally, with “hundreds” of homeowners now signed up to the service.

The £3.5m growth capital injection will allow Vive Unique to rapidly accelerate its growth with the stated aim of becoming London’s leading short let and holiday rental provider.

It is one of a number of high-profile deals London-based Smedvig Capital has concluded in recent months – earlier this month, it led a £5m round into content creation platform Quill, also backing storage company Lovespace in November 2013 with £500,000 seed funding. Smedvig CEO John Hewett also recently invested on his own behalf in a $1m backing of home cleaning marketplace Housekeep.

Jonny Morris, co-founder and chief executive of Vive Unique, said: “We are delighted to welcome Smedvig Capital as investors and see them as the ideal partner for our business.  We are impressed with the success they have achieved at comparable technology-led service businesses and are excited by the expertise they bring with them.

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“We are keen to invest in our technology and operations as we strive to bring outstanding levels of service and complete convenience to the home rental industry.

“We look forward to working closely with Smedvig as we pursue our vision for growth and innovation at Vive Unique.”

Jordan Mayo, managing director at Smedvig Capital, added: “We have been impressed by the rapid growth of Vive Unique, and the outstanding level of service delivered to both homeowners and guests.

“Following our previous investments in Streetcar and Zipcar, we are excited to be backing another business within the rapidly growing collaborative consumption space. We look forward to working with Jonny and Claire to reach their goal of becoming the number one short let and holiday rental provider in London.”



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