It was a BIG upgrade from its former domain.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, travel was one of the worst affected industries. Travel bans and lockdowns ground travel to a halt. More than 5.5 million people lost their jobs in travel and tourism in the US alone.
But some travel companies have come out of the pandemic stronger than before. One example is Evolve.
Founded in 2011, Evolve offers an all-in-one vacation rental platform. For rental property owners, it takes the hard work out of running a vacation rental business by managing your booking calendar and offering 24/7 support to your guests.
On top of that, it markets your property for you through partnerships with Airbnb and Booking.com.
Evolve’s own website also plays an essential role in its marketing and customer acquisition. SimilarWeb estimates that Evolve’s website received 610,000 visitors in January 2022, up almost 37% from the month before. So, in addition to generating bookings through other platforms, Evolve drives bookings from direct searches on its site.
One of the most notable aspects of Evolve’s digital brand is its domain name, Evolve.com. This valuable domain is at the heart of its brand as the initial contact point for Evolve customers.
Evolve.com has an interesting history. Evolve Software initially owned Evolve.com until its acquisition by Primavera in 2003. Primavera, another software company, was then purchased by Oracle in 2008. The Evolve.com domain was in Oracle’s hands until 2019.
Digital investor Andy Booth then bought Evolve.com from Oracle for an undisclosed fee, holding on to the domain until October 2020, when Evolve Vacation Rental acquired it. Again, the acquisition price wasn’t disclosed.
For Evolve, it was a much-needed upgrade from its original, lengthy domain EvolveVacationRental.com.
Evolve’s acquisition of Evolve.com came months after raising $25 million in Series E funding, but the company’s funding hasn’t stopped there.
This week, Evolve announced that it has raised a further $100 million, bringing its total funding to $224.2 million, according to Crunchbase.
What’s more remarkable is that the company survived the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions led to the cancellation rate on its vacation rental properties soaring to 97%, with the company recording a negative net book value for five weeks in a row.
Evolve has survived, and now it is thriving. In 2021, Evolve’s team grew 68% to 800 employees, and its income from completed trips increased by 78% year-over-year.
Now, with traveling at the forefront of many minds, Evolve’s rental platform is likely to continue its rapid growth. At the very core of Evolve’s digital business is a truly valuable domain, Evolve.com.