AvantStay, a platform to equip – then rent – high-end vacation homes, raises $ 160 million – TechCrunch

Another travel startup that has found itself scrambling to pivot as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken off is now announcing a huge round of funding after finding its feet and proving it can thrive, even under the circumstances unfavorable.

BeforeStay – who built a platform where she decorates and then lists properties owned by others that people can rent for vacations or other short stays – raised $ 160 million in funding Series B. The company has seen its revenues increase tenfold over the past two years and its total number of properties explode to over 1,000, and now it will use the new financing for expansion, specifically adding more properties to its platform; and to continue to develop its technology as it expands to other aspects of the property rental industry.

Tarsadia Investments and 3L Capital (which led its Series A) co-led this tour, also with the participation of former backers Plus Capital, Bullpen Capital and Convivialite; new strategic investors Capital one, Saluda Grade, Coller, Greenhawk, Stephen Pagliuca, Fred Tuomi, Jerry Coleman and Jay Mckee; and famous investors, including Paul George and Shawn Mendes.

The basic premise of AvantStay is to equip and manage high-end home rentals as a viable alternative, if not enhancement, to the experience that a typical guest might have had in a five-star hotel. ; and he put technology to work for that. The tools he has built include Voyage, his proprietary operating system for managing properties; a concierge app to help clients with services before, during and after stays; its front-end reservation platform; and a recently launched real estate platform.

The concierge service is part of AvantStay’s strategy to complement its rentals with as many amenities as guests can have at high-end hotels – and among its technology investment plans, it wants to continue expanding the services that can be offered there. The startup will also continue to evolve the real estate industry, where it helps match vacation property investors with properties, acting as a broker and then as sole agent for the rental of those homes. . (But to be clear, it doesn’t have any properties itself.)

Los Angeles-based AvantStay has been around since 2017 and has raised just $ 25 million in the past four years. In this context, this funding is important – and important for a Series B – and underlines some of the traction the company has had, especially at a time when the holidays are practically at a standstill. The company said that over the past two years it has added more than 700 homes and 80 new destinations (some in part through six acquisitions it made during that time period) and that its revenue has multiplied by 10.

In total, Sean Breuner, CEO of AvantStay who co-founded the company with Reuben Doetsch (the CTO), said 750,000 guests stay at his network of properties, with the average number per household being seven. It’s currently not profitable, but it actually shifted to profitability during the pandemic, cutting a lot of costs and also shifting to longer term rentals for businesses.

It’s not the only venture-backed startup that has found a way out of what might otherwise have been a dire situation. Both the Peek and Easol experience platforms have found their way as technology providers for the creators and organizers of these events; HotelEngine and OTA Insight, authoring tools for accommodation providers, also recently raised funds to capitalize on their own recent growth.

Airbnb created and runs the homestay accommodation market – and it turns out to be one of 60 partners AvantStay has secured for marketing homes on its platform – but Breuner believes that it is possible to develop a business separate from this one, specifically targeting the opportunity with high-end properties, still has a lot of growth in itself, in part because there are still a lot of consumers and consumers. business travelers who have yet to accept that they might have a better experience than what they have at upscale hotels.

“Customers are starting to meet the demand from a rental experience perspective,” he said. “He’s always been very late for hotels. But the experience now matches the needs and requirements of what a customer is looking for.

“Since we led AvantStay’s Series A investment over two years ago, we’ve seen the company not only increase its supply and revenue, but also face one of the world’s worst macroeconomic shocks. that have occurred in the hospitality industry, “Jodi Kessler, a partner at 3L, said in a statement. “Their incredible execution and resilience, combined with a massive tailwind in the travel industry for AvantStay’s product, makes us excited to overtake and support the team as they continue to create at the both a world-class hospitality brand for travelers and a vertically integrated platform. through which individuals and institutions can invest in short-term rental properties.

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