US: Stay Alfred, a startup that operates short-term rentals in the downtown areas of major US cities, has closed a $15 million Series A investment round.
CEO Jordan Allen confirmed the investment came from an unnamed
private equity group in Seattle.
The Spokane-based company will use the funds to expand operations across more cities in the US, and to launch internationally in 18 to 24 months. Stay Alfred's goal is to grow from 350 properties in 12 US cities to more than 4,000 properties around the world.
"We're building nationwide and the reason for the capital is, eventually, an international brand that lies between your consistent hotel stay and this new vacation rental, short-term rental, Airbnb/HomeAway stay," said Allen.
Stay Alfred's customers are primarily leisure travellers or people who want a hotel experience with the flexibility of a furnished apartment. The company leases individual units and entire buildings. Its team handles the furnishing, cleaning, booking, and customer service for each rental.
Stay Alfred has 72 employees and recently hired several new executives and a marketing team.
"We really grew up as a vacation rental company and we're turning into a hospitality company," said Allen. "They're just two different worlds. Hotels have outside sales, where they're attracting group and business travel, and a lot of other types of sales. Vacation rentals really just relied on a couple channels, like Airbnb and VRBO, to bring in the majority of their business. We're really evolving into more of a different hospitality brand, kind of in-between the hotel and vacation rental. Kind of the best of both worlds."