onefinestay, the world’s first unhotel, a new category of upscale accommodation, which lets visitors stay in a distinctive home while the owner is out of town, has raised $12 million in Series B financing led by US venture capital firm Canaan Partners.
Existing investors Index Ventures and PROfounders also participated in this round. This funding brings onefinestay’s total capital raised to date to $16 million and will be used to support the company’s launch in New York City and other international expansion plans.
“Two years ago, we hardly dared dream that owners of high-end homes would be so receptive to our business model,” says co-founder and CEO of onefinestay, Greg Marsh. “But today with hundreds of members in London together making many millions a year, many thousands of satisfied guests, and the support of leading investors, we are hugely excited about our US launch and international expansion. With an extraordinary range of homes to choose from, we are able to offer the same promise to visitors to New York as we have to visitors to London: live like a local.”
onefinestay redefines the experience of city travel by combining the distinctive character of a beautiful private home with a service that offers the convenience and comforts of a high-end hotel. While guests enjoy living like a local, host members benefit by earning additional income from a house or apartment that would otherwise sit vacant. Hundreds of hosts in London today enjoy the flexibility of using their own homes when in town and, despite the fact that none is a professional landlord, many are already earning significantly more than $50K a year.
First launched in London, the complete onefinestay service provided to members, from marketing and photography to insurance, cleaning and provision of linens, has proved extremely popular. In May 2010 onefinestay launched in London with just six members’ homes. Two years on, the company manages over 500 upscale homes, and exclusively manages a property portfolio worth over $1bn. The company’s revenues increased tenfold in 2011, and this growth is today supported by a dedicated team of over 100.
The company’s success has helped attract top tier international investors, including leading global venture capital firm Canaan Partners, which led the Series B funding round. Warren Lee from Canaan Partners joins the board, and said: “We are thrilled to be leading this round. The onefinestay team are talented, driven and insanely ambitious. We share their belief that there will be an unhotel in every major world city, and look forward to supporting their growth.”
onefinestay’s Series A funding was led by leading venture capital firm Index Ventures with participation from PROfounders Capital, and included some of the foremost players in the travel and hospitality industry, such as Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com; Andy Phillips, co-founder of Active Hotels; and David Magliano, former Director of Marketing for London’s successful 2012 Olympic bid.
Greg Marsh said, “We are pleased to welcome Canaan Partners as investors to the company. Canaan has outstanding bi-coastal presence in the US, and we particularly value their New York profile. We look forward to working with them to execute the next phase of our growth - our launch in New York.”
onefinestay’s launch in New York is the first stage in a wider strategy of international expansion, with ambitions set on having an unhotel in every major world city.