|Description||Rent timeshares online.|
|VENTURE FUNDING TOTAL||$1.1M|
|Seed, 9/10 |
Various Angel Investors
|Angel, 12/10 |
Ohio TechAngels Fund
Formerly RRBO.com, ResortGems.com operates an online marketplace for vacation resorts at amazing deals. The site features over 5,000 individual timeshare properties for rent, often at 30-50% of their standard nightly rates. In addition, via a partnership with World Choice Travel, a division of Travelocity, the site offers access to more than 27,000 hotels and resorts at the same guaranteed low prices. Timeshare units are denoted by a “gem” icon, and include top providers such as Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton, and Disney. The startup has raised over $1.1 million since inception, with backing from State of Ohio funded initiatives, Ohio TechAngels, and other high net worth individuals.
Once a user finds a hotel, resort, or timeshare they like, they can book it online in minutes. Hotels and resorts booked through the Travelocity network are handled in the same way they are on Travelocity. When a timeshare “gem” that has been listed by its owner is booked, all aspects of that transaction are handled by Resort Gems, from payment and contract to the handover of keys. This escrow-like fashion eliminates risk for the consumer, much like StubHub does for tickets. Resort Gems does not charge timeshare owners to list, and makes money by taking a percentage of each timeshare transaction, or via standard partner kickbacks from Travelocity on resorts and hotels provided via their feed of 27,000+ units.
The company slogan is… “Stay at a timeshare, without the sales pitch.” Resort Gems has been featured in USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Peter Greenberg, Fox 28 News Columbus, and The Columbus Dispatch. On June 8, 2010 they won an international startup competition held by Weblogs & Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis, tying for first place with personal cloud provider Tonido, during meetup #55 on the popular show This Week in Startups.