Excerpt from Bloomberg
Startup inks leases with 17 small hotels; in talks for 40 more
In the past year, hotel chains and home-sharing sites have started encroaching on each other’s turf. Airbnb Inc. advertises hotel rooms on its platform and Marriott International Inc. recently launched a home-stay offering.
The latest player to blur the lines is short-term rental start up Sonder. The San Francisco-based hospitality company is expanding beyond its network of custom-designed vacation apartments, signing leases with 17 off-the-beaten-path, mom-and-pop style hotels in New York, London, Dublin and other cities in recent months – and is negotiating an additional 40 properties.
Sonder targets the sweet spot between a home and a hotel, merging the vibe of an Airbnb in a hip neighborhood with the convenience of a hotel’s 24/7 concierge and professionally cleaned sheets. Sonder advertises its units on Airbnb and Expedia Group Inc.’s Vrbo, complying with local rules and regulations in the 21 cities where it operates.
After raising $225 million in a funding round in July, valuing the company at more than $1 billion, Sonder decided to veer away from its traditional short-term rental model and elbow its way into the hotel industry.
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