Sonder, a boutique rental startup, has closed an $85 million Series C round of funding.
CEO Francis Davidson, 25, said Sonder was on course to generate $100 million in revenue this year. The company has hosted more than 200,000 guests since its debut four years ago.
It leases or manages 2,200 units in 11 cities in four countries.
The startup fully licenses its properties to avoid local regulatory disputes. In some cities that may mean operating as a property manager, in others as an extended-stay (minimum 30-day stays) renter. In others, it gets a hotel license.
Sonder faces a rival Lyric, which similarly has a “design-forward, consistent amenities” approach to rental management and marketing.
Lyric works with multi-family property developers to source units. It has raised about $19 million, including a $15.5 million Series A equity investment earlier this year that included investors hotelier Barry Sternlicht, Fifth Wall Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates.
When Skift asked if Airbnb would want to buy Sonder, Sonder co-founder Francis Davidson said, “Fundamentally, Airbnb’s business is not focused on operating spaces themselves but on building a trust-infused marketplace for unique accommodations and experiences. I think we’ll see Airbnb work hard on ensuring that more and more high-quality supply can be sold through their platform. Where Airbnb has built the Booking and Expedia of the new economy, we’re building the Marriott or Hilton.”
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