James CostelloThere's a growing trend in the travel industry of renting a vacation homes with friends and family.
But handling payments with large groups can be a huge pain. It's a process that can get awkward and uncomfortable really quickly, especially if some people aren't eager to pay right away.
Human Gravity, a new group payments startup launching today, is aiming to tap into the $85 billion vacation rental market in the US and Europe. In the US alone, the market is $24 billion.
With Human Gravity, no one has to front the money and everyone pays their share. At the same time, you can also use it to simply gauge your friends' interest in going on a vacation with you.
Let's say you want to go on vacation with a group of friends in Lake Tahoe. Head on over to Human Gravity to browse some listings. If you're splitting the cost with friends, select how many people are splitting the cost to see how much each person needs to pay.
ScreenshotAs the organizer, you simply create an account to collect the rental money from your friends. But the organizer can only collect the funds once everyone has committed. That way, no one will be charged until the group is fully in tact.
It's totally free to use, but Human Gravity takes a cut from the booking fee.
Human Gravity is working directly with property owners in order to maintain the quality of listings, and keep track of rates and availability.
It's currently solely focused on vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe and has about 250 listings on the site. That's because Lake Tahoe is a pretty common destination for people living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though, it eventually plans to expand to other locations.
There are, of course, tons of vacation rental sites. Think Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and Rentalo. Meanwhile, there are also a ton of payments startups, and even a few specifically focusing on group payments, like Payumi, Venmo, and PayWithMe.
But none of the above-mentioned companies tackle both group payments and vacation rentals. So maybe Human Gravity is on to something.
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