Sonder Reaches Unicorn Status
("Airbnb competitor Sonder says after new funding round it’s now worth $1B," Real Deal - LA Real Estate News on Jul 11, 2019)
Congratulations is well-deserved for Sonder, which just completed a $210 million funding round for a total $1 billion valuation, launching the short-term rental platform into so-called unicorn status. Sonder relies on an asset-heavy model that draws some comparisons to WeWork, which also leases space, outfits them and then rents them to end users. Owning significant real estate assets brings a certain amount of risk, but one way in which Sonder appears to be mitigating against that risk is by partnering with real estate developers on new projects. A reported $15 million of the latest round of funding comes from equity provided by development partners.
Airbnb Goes Luxe
("Airbnb dives into ultra-high-end rentals. Here’s what brokers think," Real Deal - LA Real Estate News on Jun 2, 2019)
Last week, Airbnb announced it was rolling out Airbnb Luxe, a vertical featuring properties that rent for $1,000 or more per night. The properties on the Luxe website must pass a 300+ point inspection, including a strict set of standards, from chef-grade appliances to high end finishes. Renters using the service can take advantage of the services of a trip designer—like a concierge or butler—to arrange tours, transportation, and more. We expect that Airbnb’s foray into the bespoke property market will convert some former skeptics of the model who have historically viewed Airbnb as an accommodation option for cost-conscious travelers.
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