UPDATE, 6/25: On Tuesday, CasaHop announced $1.2 million in seed funding from the likes of Lerer Ventures and hotelier Andre Balazs. Former Huffington Post CEO and current Chairman of Soho Tech Labs, Eric Hippeau said in a statement, “I’m delighted to see that our first incubated company has been able to attract such a prestigious group of investors. It’s clear that they recognize the power of leveraging social to disrupt the travel industry.”
PREVIOUSLY: CasaHop, the latest venture from The Huffington Post's former CTO, Paul Berry, may be onto the newest trend in travel -- using your social networks to help you find home exchanges through people you can trust.
Unlike competitor HomeAway, CasaHop doesn't charge listers to post their rentals. Instead, potential travelers will use sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find commonalities between them -- anyone from a college friend or someone with similar interests.
A beta version of the site launched Tuesday. The site is giving away free airfare to one new as-yet-determined user who uploads their home now. The full site is coming soon.
As Berry told Huffington Post Travel, "We believe CasaHop has the potential to do to travel what we did to news," before adding, "We will soon also be revealing some incredibly exciting investors who are true leaders in the travel industry that also see this as the future of how we will all manage our vacations and weekends."
CasaHop's competitor, Airbnb, faced quite a backlash last year after a woman claimed that her San Francisco apartment was ransacked and burglarized by a renter.
In an email to The Huffington Post, a spokeswoman for Airbnb said that following the incident they added a $50,000 guarantee against threat or vandalism.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Airbnb charges hosts to list their property. They do not; they collect 3% from each accepted reservation. We apologize for the error.
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