Friday 30 September 2016

Ryanair's Cawley backs Irish Airbnb rival

Published 16/10/2015 | 02:30

Debbie Flynn and Tom Kennedy in the Homestay.com offices
Debbie Flynn and Tom Kennedy in the Homestay.com offices

Former Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley, who's also the chairman of Fáilte Ireland, has invested close to €250,000 in Homestay.com, an Irish challenger to Airbnb.

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Mr Cawley and his wife have made the investment as the company raised €3.5m in funding from new and existing investors.

The company is backed by technology veteran Cyril McGuire. Homestay's chief executive is Alan Clarke, who was previously an executive with Paddy Power.

Last year, Homestay.com raised €2.4m from existing investors when it bought out a German rival. Homestay was co-founded by Tom Kennedy and Debbie Flynn.

Mr Kennedy also co-founded travel site Hostelworld.com. They've both provided cash in the latest funding round. The company raised its new financing from backers including venture capital firm Delta Partners.

Homestay chairman Patrick Holahan, the founder of software firm Newbay, has also injected fresh funds into the business.

Mr Holahan sold Newbay to Blackberry maker Research in Motion in 2011 for $100m.

Mr Cawley, who's still a non-executive director with Ryanair, left his executive role at the airline in 2014. He was appointed Fáilte Ireland chairman soon after.

Homestay.com offers accommodation from 30,000 hosts in 140 countries.

Irish Independent

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