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While Germany-based startup incubator SpringStar is building AirBnB’s international business, Fast Lane Ventures is working on its Russian competitor TravelRent. Compared to AirBnB series B round of $112 million, $2 million for TravelRent look rather pale in comparison, yet the geographical focus on Russian-speaking countries is what may help TravelRent compete against its stronger rival.
According to Fast Lane Ventures, travel market in Russia will reach $6 billion in 2012. Currently listing 25,000 properties, TravelRent plans to increase its listings to 45,000 by the end of 2013. In comparison, AirBnB already boasts 200,000 active properties worldwide, and aims at reaching 10,000 in Russia by the end of 2012, according to AirBnB Russia and CEE Eugen Miropolsky.
Founded by Russian internet startup factory Fast Lane Ventures, TravelRent has secured backing from a new venture fund Frontier Ventures, founded by Dmitry Alimov. Alimov’s other investments include the largest Russian daily deals site BigLion and a video website ivi.ru. A co-founder of DST and one of the first investors in Mail.ru Gregory Finger is an advisor to the fund since April 2012.
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