AvantStay, a startup that rents properties designed for group travel, nabs $20 million in funding from venture funds and Olympian Shaun White
- AvantStay, a short-term rental company founded in 2017, has raised $20 million in Series A funding.
- The funding round was led by 3L Capital, which has invested in media company The Young Turks as well as Smile Direct Club and The Real Real. Return funders include Bullpen Capital, F-Prime Capital, and Zeno Ventures.
- Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White also invested in the fundraising round.
- AvantStay's properties will soon be available on Marriott International's Homes & Villas, the hotel giant's answer to Airbnb. Marriott's service allows loyalty members to earn and use their points during a stay.
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AvantStay, a short-term rental startup that caters to group travel, has raised $20 million in Series A funding and inked a deal to list its properties on Marriott's answer to Airbnb.
The funding round was led by 3L Capital, which has invested in media company The Young Turks as well as Smile Direct Club and The Real Real. Return funders include Bullpen Capital, F-Prime Capital, and Zeno Ventures. Olympic Gold Medal snowboarder Shaun White also invested in the round. AvantStay declined to provide a valuation
With the popularity of Airbnb's original model of home-sharing, a new class of short-term rental companies that mix Instagrammable style and hotel-like amenities with the comfort of a home have cropped up. These companies are attracting big dollars, with Lyric raising $160 million earlier this year in funding led by Airbnb, and Sonder raising $210 million and reaching unicorn status.
AvantStay, which mostly operates in the western United States, plans to use the funding to expand to the East Coast. It also wants to add more features to its tech services that help manage customer stays.
Read more: Lyric, which raised $185 million from backers like Airbnb and Fifth Wall, shares its secret sauce for Instagram-worthy rentals
Marriott's own entry into the short-term rental world earlier this year is an indication that hotel incumbents are watching the space closely. AvantStay was founded in 2017, and its properties will soon be available on Marriott's Homes & Villas platform.
The Marriott service connects travelers to property managers and allows loyalty members to earn and use loyalty points during a stay. While hotel loyalty programs are often utilized by business travelers, AvantStay's goal isn't to serve business travelers unless they are a team booking a corporate retreat.
AvantStay's target customer is actually a group of guests travelling together at one location. AvantStay's spaces are designed for ten or more people, and CEO and founder Sean Breuner said that the company furnishes spaces with larger sofas and tables than a typical home would have.
The company also lets customers split costs in the app itself and has services like mid-trip cleaning and a stocked fridge upon arrival.
"Its hard to really get someone excited about a one-bedroom apartment, regardless of the wallpaper and how it's designed," Breuner said. "You need to have it all."
Read more: Airbnb-style company Sonder just became a unicorn with backing from a billionaire hotel family
AvantStay's partnership with Marriott sets it apart from other companies in the space who have yet to work with the incumbents, though most have close relationships with Airbnb and other hospitality platforms. AvantStay is a newer addition to the space, with fewer than 800 rooms in the US, but industry insiders predict that short-term rental companies are poised for explosive growth.
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