With over ten million nights already booked through our network of 15 city websites, and connecting to dozens of partner websites via the industry’s largest syndication network, it might be hard to believe that, way back in 2000, the team behind WorldEscape started with just one website, offering vacation rentals in just one city.
Back at the turn of the millennium, the idea of booking vacation rentals online was highly unusual, particularly in Europe, where mainstream acceptance of the Internet was running a few years behind America. Indeed, when brother and sister team Emmett and Deirdre Brady sold Ireland’s biggest legal services firm, Rochford Brady and moved to their favorite vacation city, Amsterdam, they were not even thinking about doing anything online. Their plan was to buy a few city center properties and set up a traditional overnight apartment rentals business.
When Internet pioneer Giuseppe Urso suggested they register the domain AmsterdamEscape.com and offer online bookings, they went along with the idea but did not expect too much. To their surprise, bookings immediately flooded in, particularly from Americans who, by then, expected to be able to book online but could find no other website offering vacation rentals in Amsterdam. It soon became obvious that demand exceeded their own supply and, so, they took the fateful step of reaching out to other Amsterdam property owners, resulting in a business far beyond their original plans.
After just a few years, they decided it made sense to offer the same service in other major cities. WorldEscape LLC was formally established in August 2005, with headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, and offices in Amsterdam, New York, Palermo and Manila, and has now expanded to 15 city websites.
All WorldEscape sites run exclusive booking software that was developed, over six years, by their own team of programmers and designers. This gives owners an unparalleled level of control over their listings and how they charge for their properties.
Today, the directors of the business are Giuseppe Urso, Emmett Brady, Deirdre Brady and Chandra Gupta, who heads North American operations.
If you would like to hear more about WorldEscape’s vision for the future, check out Chandra Gupta’s recent interview on The Entrepreneur Podcast Network.