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Stay Alfred Raises $47 Million for Serviced Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week

The total funding publicized this week was more than $58 million.

Stay Alfred, a short-term apartment rental startup, has raised $47 million in a Series B round.

Nine Four Ventures led the fundraising. The Spokane, Washington-based startup, founded seven years ago, has raised $62 million to date.

Stay Alfred has almost 2,000 travel apartments in 28 U.S. cities and says it has hosted nearly a half-million guests.

The company’s 230 workers tackle the furnishing, cleaning, and customer service for each rental. The units typically reside together across multiple floors or a whole building in downtown, multi-unit structures that are usually owned by real-estate property developers.

Jordan Allen, CEO of Stay Alfred, said he predicts that multifamily properties in every major U.S. city will add short-term “travel apartments” for rent alongside traditional long-term, multi-family residences as part of a multi-use mix of residential and commercial offerings.

The Guild Hotels, which is converting mixed-use buildings into hotel-like suites, has raised $9 million in Series A funding.

Venture firm Maveron led the round. Other investors include Convivialite Ventures and Corigin Ventures. Chip Conley, former head of global hospitality at Airbnb, is also coming on as an investor.

The Guild, founded in March 2016 in Austin, Texas, serves as the brand and operator of eight properties in Austin and two in Dallas. It signs leases with local property developers and then rents out the rooms as hotel suites.

This week the company began taking bookings for Cincinnati and Miami. By the end of the year, the business expects to be operating more than 450 units nationwide. The 80-employee company will have staff at every location. It charges boutique hotel prices, ranging from $150-300 a night with no rental-style upcharges or cleaning fees.

TravelbyBit, a maker of a blockchain-based, point-of-sale payment system for use at major airports, said it had raised a $2.5 million seed round.

Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, led the investment in the Australian travel startup. Apparently, it invested with real Australian dollars.

The plan is for travelers at international airports to have their bitcoin-based mobile wallets like Coinomi and Dash Wallet accepted thanks to Travelbybit’s upgrades to the point of sale systems of select merchants.

Skift Cheat Sheet:
We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet that definition. The rare ones that do often attract venture capital. Their funding rounds come in waves.

Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.

Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster, or scale up. These fundraising rounds can assist with recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.

Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

Series D, E and beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.

Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here. And also: Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch 2018.