Wilbur Labs, a startup studio founded by ex-Googlers, launches VacationRenter.com
Wilbur Labs is a San Francisco based startup studio founded by ex-Googlers. The company builds, buys and invests in businesses at the intersection of technology and marketing. Wilbur Labs also leverages their proprietary marketing technology and shared back office to shorten the time it takes to launch and scale companies.
The company announced the launch of VacationRenter, a company that aggregates the best vacation rental listings from around the web to match travelers with the perfect place to stay. Using automation and artificial intelligence (AI), VacationRenter brings all the rental options from the leading travel sites together in one place and showcase only the best results and thereby help travelers find the perfect vacation rental.
VacationRenter takes time and effort out of searching for a resort, hotel, cabin, bed-and-breakfast or other vacation rental by pulling the best available options from top rental services. The service soft-launched in select test markets in February and already has an annual run rate of $100 million in gross annual booking value.
“Today, people searching for the right rental have to spend time scrolling through pages of search results, and often have to visit several sites,” said David Kolodny of Wilbur Labs. “We’re excited to offer travelers a better experience with VacationRenter.”
VacationRenter is the second company to launch from Wilbur Labs, which was founded by David Kolodny and Phil Santoro, veterans of Google’s advertising team. Wilbur Labs aims to launch several companies per year and scale them quickly using a proprietary, automated marketing platform.
VacationRenter launched with $3 million in financing from Wilbur Labs. Wilbur Labs, named after aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright, builds and scales companies before recruiting a dedicated executive team. VacationRenter will look to bring aboard a new CEO and additional team members within the next year.
“The majority of startups focus on recruiting a team, building a prototype and then hoping there is a market for their product or service,” Santoro said. “At Wilbur Labs, we take a different approach. We research growing markets that are ripe for a high degree of automation, and then look for a management team once we have significant traction. In essence, we build the plane as we fly it.”
Founded in 2016, Wilbur Labs previously launched Nomad, a platform used by companies managing complex online inventory. The next Wilbur Labs portfolio company is scheduled to launch this summer.