Domio teams up with PE firm to launch aparthotel venture

George Sell By George Sell
02 October 2018 | Updated 02 October 2018

US: Vacation rental company Domio has announced a $50 million JV with private equity firm Upper90 to open aparthotel properties.

New-York based Domio aims to become the "Airbnb of group travel" by renting curated vacation apartments to group travellers. The new venture started is targeting young people travelling together in groups. It currently has properties in Austin, New orleans, Nashville, San Diego, Boston and Honolulu.

Upper90, also based in New York, is a technology-focused private equity fund investing in emerging asset classes.

In a 500-person survey conducted this year, the company found that 38 per cent of respondents said they were most likely to book and stay in a short-term rental in 2018 when travelling with a group bigger than two.

"As we grew in the industry, we took a look at the overall landscape," said Jay Roberts, CEO and co-founder of Domio. "While Airbnb is a great company, there's really a lack of consistency, reliability, and trust among many of the travellers who've stayed at Airbnbs. People find cameras, there aren't smoke detectors - there's a lot of horror stories."

All of Domio's listings are owned and managed by the company to create a branded experience. The company says it will seek to differentiate itself from traditional hotels by offering spaces suited specifically for group travel at sharing-economy prices, estimated to be 10 to 25 per cent cheaper than the average hotel.

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