Luxury Retreats Pins Down New Board Members, New VC Bucks

Luxury Retreats, the Canadian luxury villa rental company, has raised $5 million from iNovia Capital, a VC specializing in emerging tech deals. Chris Arsenault, of iNovia Capital, will join Luxury Retreats’ Board of Directors as part of the round. The company also has offices in Barbados, St. Martin and Buenos Aires.


MONTREAL, Sept. 18, 2012 — Luxury Retreats, the world’s leading luxury villa rental company providing personalized villa vacations, today announced it has raised $5 million in capital led by iNovia Capital, a venture capital firm specializing in emerging technology companies, including Beyond the Rack, AppDirect, and Vizu. Vaquero Capital acted as a financial advisor to Luxury Retreats. The proceeds will be used to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and provide additional operating capital and financial resources to pursue future growth opportunities. Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia Capital, will join Luxury Retreats’ Board of Directors.
Luxury Retreats is led by its Founder and CEO Joe Poulin, who at 17 years old founded the luxury villa rental company from his bedroom. After having built a website for a villa owner, Mr. Poulin envisioned building a website that would offer luxury villa rentals targeting the affluent traveler. The website was launched in May 1999. Today, Luxury Retreats has become the world’s largest luxury villa rental company, with an unmatched portfolio of more than 2,000 hand-picked, personally inspected villas (exceeding $6 Billion USD in value) in over 50 destinations worldwide. Luxury Retreats is a privately held company, employing over 150 professionals, with its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, and offices in Barbados, St. Martin, and Buenos Aires.
“We are excited to announce this funding. Up to this point, we have been very successful in servicing our rapid internal growth by redeploying profits internally, enabling us to maintain our position as the largest luxury villa rental company in the world,” said Joe Poulin, Luxury Retreats’ founder and chief executive officer. “This capital provides us the additional financial flexibility to pursue opportunistic investments to enhance our long-term growth plans, with our ultimate goal to remain the leading player in the global luxury rental market.”
Unlike other vacation home rental companies, there is no membership fee required to rent with Luxury Retreats. Every villa is personally inspected, ensuring the very best in villa rental standards and quality. As a full service villa rental company, Luxury Retreats offers all guests complimentary concierge services, worldwide guest services support, as well as villa specialists who help travelers find the right luxury villa rental to fulfill their dream vacation. Luxury Retreats plans to add at least 50 new destinations such as London and New York City in the next twelve months.
“Luxury Retreats has redefined the luxury villa space via its leading online travel portal and its management team’s unique understanding of the luxury travel sector,” said Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia Capital. “The Company is already a pioneer in the space, and we believe this financing will provide it with the additional resources to not only lead this growing sector, but redefine it in completely new ways. We are very happy to be a strategic partner with Luxury Retreats in this endeavor, and I look forward to serving on its Board.”
Mr. Arsenault has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for the last two decades. He is a board member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association, Co-Chair of the Canadian Innovation Exchange, and Charter Member of Silicon Valley based C100 (the Top Canadians in the Valley organization), among other company roles. Joining Mr. Arsenault to the Board of Luxury Retreats are also Bertrand Cesvet, Founding Partner of Cirque du Soleil Lifestyle Group and Chairman of global agency Sid Lee, where he has provided creative and strategic leadership for brands such as Adidas, Cirque du Soleil, Red Bull, and MGM Grand; and Hugh Crean, Entrepreneur in Residence at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm, and former General Manager of Bing Travel (formerly Farecast of which he was CEO), an airfare prediction website advising users the best time to purchase airline tickets.
About Luxury Retreats Founded in 1999, Luxury Retreats creates personalized villa vacations, offering over 2,000+ villas in over 50+ destinations. Its global team of 150+ passionate travel enthusiasts & partners hand pick and personally inspect each luxury villa ensuring that its guests are offered the very best.
As a full service villa rental company, Luxury Retreats offers guests complimentary concierge services, worldwide guest support, as well as villa specialists who help travelers find their perfect villa – all without charging any membership fees. For more information,
About iNovia Capital iNovia partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build successful companies in high-growth sectors. The team is comprised of entrepreneurs and sector experts focused on Mobile, Internet and Digital Media. iNovia has $275M under management across three seed and early-stage funds. For more information, visit or follow iNovia on Twitter