WASHINGTON, DC—WhyHotel, an alternative lodging service that operates pop-up hotels in newly built, luxury apartment buildings, has secured over $20 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by Harbert Growth Partners with participation from Camber Creek, Highland Capital Partners, Working Lab Capital, Geolo Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and Mark Nunnelly, former managing director of Bain Capital Partners. The funds will be used to expand WhyHotel’s footprint, allowing both building owners and customers to capitalize on its proven, unique business model nationwide.
“How people use space is evolving at a much faster pace than the 3-5 years it takes to deliver a high-rise building,” said Jason Fudin, CEO and co-founder of WhyHotel. “To address this, we are accelerating innovative real estate offerings for consumers and developers alike. However, unlike major operators that have been hobbled by delivering products that mismatch long-term lease obligation and short-term consumer contracts, our products are designed with an understanding of real estate cycles in mind and the goal of building a sustainable, profitable business. With hospitality and multifamily products continuing to converge, WhyHotel is poised to be the engine of this inevitable future.”
With multiple new cities set to open in 2020, WhyHotel intends to use these funds to fuel its national expansion and to offer additional products and services to guests during stays. The company is also preparing for a number of additional hires to continue to invest in the infrastructure required for the real estate sales, marketing, revenue, and technology teams. Finally, WhyHotel plans to use the funds to continue to ramp up Hospitality Living, the real estate development arm of the company, with the goal to deliver the first development in 2022.
“We’re excited to get behind WhyHotel’s exceptional team and product. With Harbert Management Corporation’s long history in venture and real estate investing, we are in the unique position to evaluate innovation in this market,” said Tom Roberts, general partner at Harbert Growth Partners. “As a capital efficient business with an eye on the evolution of real estate, WhyHotel is set to define a new and tremendous market.”
To support the continued growth and momentum since WhyHotel’s last financing in December of 2018, the company has also opened its first purpose-built corporate headquarters in DC’s historic Uline Arena and brought on a number of top tier executives. With this, WhyHotel continues its commitment to remaining an integral part of the DC-metro startup community.
WhyHotel’s total funding now stands at over $35 million since its inception in 2017. The company plans to continue to accelerate the launch of pop-ups across the U.S. in 2020 and lay the groundwork for building its own high-rise developments that bring the concept into buildings on a permanent basis via Hospitality Living.