So… the €26K-a-ten-days holiday rental really is a thing

By Bertrand Cyril

Le Collectionist opening its capital to Red River West (Artemis) in a new $10 million round is just another proof that even Luxury is open to decentralized models — a typical XAnge investment thesis.

Luxury is a bottomless market

I often have to remind myself that luxury is not a niche. True luxury — as a market, not as a branding strategy — does not show off on the Champs Elysées. It is a discrete, demanding, disciplined segment, much, much deeper than we spontaneously think. Le Collectionist’s growth is a perfect example of how much can be achieved on an ultra exclusive market.

Two years ago, before we met the team during seed round, we were well aware of a whole bunch of existing websites that listed luxury villas to rent for holidays. Moreover, at the same time Airbnb started promoting beautiful places to rent around the world, the kind of rentals one could consider getting for himself once in a while.

Le Collectionist was something else, however. We were invited to enter a €26.000 a ten days dreamworld, one with anti-gravitational experiences and the range of services one can expect for this kind of price. Would the market be deep enough to feed the platform’s growth? Well, here we are now : 2 years after leading the 2 million seed round with Partech Ventures, the platform lists 2.300 properties in over 100 destinations and the average ticket for a 10-day rental is €26.000.

Salesmen are underrated — in France

Market potential and great management are the perfect VC-match: Oliver, Max and Eliott are outstanding businessmen, and die-hard salesmen. They easily convinced us to back the project. Their pragmatic approach is exactly what is needed in this industry, it led them to mix the best of the digital and the mortar worlds, when buying Bonder (the leading agency located in Ibiza) for example.

Sales positions are still underrated in our culture, in schools, in startups and in corporations. We at XAnge love sales, this mix of listening, spotting hidden customer complains, sophistication, embracing complexity and conflict and emotions .. and closing contracts. No word can describe how key good salesmen are to enable startup successes like Le Collectionist’s.

French buyers… at last !

Accor buying OneFineStay last year was an interesting signal for us. It meant there was appetite for luxury rental platforms and that French or European companies were buying. For once, we wouldn’t necessarily have to look across the Atlantic to find a potential buyer — and a good one, of course — it is rare enough to be mentioned.

Investing over-prorata in a new financing round alongside Red River West (Artemis) is a no-brainer, considering both the credibility of Artemis in Luxury and Le Collectionist’s organic traction (100% growth each year). There might have been internal discussions at round A, but not this time.

And now the World

There’s a lot of exciting work ahead for Le Collectionist, who is now strong enough to reach for new markets with the opening of 100 local desks, including the United States.

The team is also working hard on developing systematic and international tools for its salesmen : on average, there are over 500 tags for each property listed on the platform. As the business double its size each year, the funds raised will also be used to build the technologies necessary to offering a delightful experience to their clients.