Smaller startups are fighting for dominance in the fast-growing category of price-comparison search for alternative accommodations.

This article outlines some of the better-funded, such as Tripping which has raised $55 million to date, HomeToGo, a Berlin-based startup, and Holidu, a Munich-based metasearch engine, as well as others including AllTheRooms, FewoFerien/Holiday Homes, and Hundredrooms, each of which raised modest amounts in the past year.

It discusses how companies like HomeToGo and Tripping must compete in marketing battles against giant brands like Trivago and Google which are now adding vacation rentals to search results for hotels, assuming that consumers are increasingly shopping for “lodging” as a broad category, from hotels to shared couches, rather than wanting to go for one site for hotels and another for short-term rentals. While the alternative accommodations market is undoubtedly growing, the writer also wonders whether there’s room for more than one metasearch platform to survive.

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