The rental site Altovita emerging as a competitor to Airbnb could be making its way to London next year, after getting the green light to operate in eastern Europe.
The short-term holiday rental site was launched in July and has already expanded to more than 200 listings across Prague, Budapest, Vienna and Warsaw with a USP that means all properties have been personally inspected and given quality ratings by its staff.
Now the site has been given the stamp of approval in Eastern Europe, with co-founder Alison Ip saying there are another ‘100 or so’ listings in the pipeline, with the ambition to reach 500 by the first quarter of 2018.
The company is headquartered in London and says that the UK capital is in its ‘expansion plans’. Ip added: “We’ll consider coming to London as a city, potentially in the next six to 12 months.”
It will bring another rival in the short-term rental industry, which has been largely dominated by the likes of Airbnb, but Ms Ip – a former UBS investment bank director – says Altovita is trying to make up for a lack of quality assurance.
“The sharing economy is becoming increasingly popular and yet there is no standard of quality for this sector – unlike in the hotel sector, which is very well defined in a five-star rating system that applies across the world and has done so for decades,” she said.
“Some of the poorer properties have fallen through the cracks and effectively frustrated a lot of the customers who effectively loved this model.”