A corporate-housing startup backed by Airbnb Inc. has raised money at roughly half the valuation it commanded five months ago, as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the lodging industry.
Zeus, led by Chief Executive Officer Kulveer Taggar, is like an Airbnb for white-collar workers. The San Francisco-based company helps landlords furnish their homes and offers them to individuals as well as employees of large companies who need temporary housing for a month or more.
Zeus Living Inc. raised about USD 15 million in equity and debt at a valuation of about USD 110 million from existing investors CEAS Investments I, Initialized Capital Management and Soros Fund Management, according to people familiar with the matter. It was worth about USD 205 million in a funding round in December, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.
Zeus raised the money in part because it didn’t have enough cash to comply with a covenant tied to a loan from Soros, the people said.
Zeus is far from alone as far as revamped valuations go. Airbnb last month raised debt and equity from investors including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners at an implied valuation of USD 18 billion, down from its USD 31 billion peak.
Airbnb participated in Zeus’s fundraising in December but wasn’t involved in the latest round, some of the people said.
But like many startups impacted by the pandemic, Zeus has laid off employees, cutting some 80 workers, or 30% of its staff, in March, the people said.
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