Who says VC funding is drying up … It’s not exactly a content play, but vacation-rentals site HomeAway has picked up $250 million in funding in what Bits says is the largest round raised by a tech company since 2000 (when MetroPCS, which went public in 2007, picked up $350 million). Technology Crossover Ventures, which is also a big investor in *TheStreet.com*, led the round, investing $175 million; previous investors Institutional Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures also participated. Founded four years ago, HomeAway has raised a total of $410 million in funding, including a $160 million round in November 2006.
HomeAway has snapped up 10 competitors in the past four years, including VRBO and VacationRentals.com in the U.S., and four sites in Europe. It faces increased competition from bigger companies like Orbitz and TripAdvisor that have begun to play in the vacation-rentals market, but CEO and founder Brian Sharples says HomeAway has a value proposition that can’t be beat: It costs $300 to list a property for a year, and on average, users earned $20,000 in rental income annually. He also said the company is profitable and is on track to bring in just under $100 million in sales this year. Lot more details in this WSJ story.