Berlin start-up Cosi secures €5 million in seed funding

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 23 August 2019

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Germany: Cosi, an apartment rental start-up, has secured €5 million in seed funding prior to its launch.

Leading the round are venture capital firms Cherry Ventures and e.ventures, with participation from a number of travel, real estate and hospitality entrepreneurs and experts. They include Nils Regge (founder of HomeToGo and Dreamlines), Gleb Tritus (MD Lufthansa Innovation Hub), Manuel Stotz (founder of Kingsway Capital), Mato Peric (founder of Immo), Andreas Brehmke, Loric Ventures, and Lions Venture.

Cosi's are CEO Christian Gaiser, who preciously founded Bonial.com, a local shopping platform sold to Axel Springer in 2011; Dimitri Chandogin, who co-founded Doc+, a digital healthcare provider in Russia; and CTO Gerhard Maringer, who has a background in fintech and previously built ForexFix, an FX hedging platform.

“More and more guests prefer to stay in a unique apartment versus a boring hotel, i.e. travelers tend to book their stay at a private host via Airbnb. [However], the experience can be frustrating though due to lack of quality and service: long check-in/check-out times, poor interior design, lack of cleanliness, not enough linen, no service hotline in case of questions, to name a few examples,” said Gaiser. “Many guests, therefore, decide not to stay in a unique home for quality reasons. Cosi solves this problem as a full-stack hospitality brand: We control the entire guest journey from end-to-end.”

Gaiser says the company signs long-term leases with property owners, and then furnishes those apartments itself. “On top of that, we offer a digital service along the entire guest journey from initial contact to loyalty. Finally, we rent out our apartments short-term as a hotel replacement.”

“Cosi creates a new category, but the closest direct competitors include smaller boutique hotels or traditional local serviced apartment operators for tourists,” said Gaiser. “In a broader sense, we also compete with the big hotel companies like Marriott or Hilton in business travel.”

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