Global Founders Capital and Comcast Ventures lead financing to accelerate product innovation and property development
Life House, the first Silicon Valley backed lifestyle hotel company has secured $40 million in funding to accelerate the development of its lifestyle boutique hotel product and proprietary technology platform. The company will use this technology to drive direct bookings, optimize operations, and foster a social community for travelers much like today’s modern direct-to-consumer brands—a first of its kind for the hotel industry.
Life House was co-founded in 2017 by Rami Zeidan, a seasoned hotel and real estate executive and Yury Yakubchyk, a technology expert and serial entrepreneur. The funding consists of $10 million in venture capital to fuel the company’s operations and its technology platform, and the additional $30 million in real estate capital will support the development of its first few properties in the U.S. Global Founders Capital led the Series A round in February of this year, Comcast Ventures led the Seed Round in September, while Trinity Ventures made a significant investment. Henley Investments led the real estate investment, and also participated in the venture rounds.
“Just like today’s direct-to-consumer lifestyle brands, nearly all hotel revenue is generated through online channels, but traditional hotels still structure and operate themselves like brick and mortar management businesses,” said Zeidan, Life House’s co-founder and CEO. “We are applying the best practices from the ecommerce space to lifestyle branded hotels and are thrilled to have investors who believe in our technology and growth strategy.”
Life House is a vertically integrated platform that solves travel problems. The company not only operates hotels, it develops and designs them for real estate owners who want to own high yielding lifestyle hotels but are underserved by institutional developers and operators. The Life House technology platform will also feature a social network for travelers to meet other guests prior to their arrival, powered by a best-in-class proprietary booking experience that makes traveling alone or in a group much more seamless.
Co-founder and CTO, Yury Yakubchyk, added, “Hotels have lagged other industries’ technological advances due to historically complex software integrations and outsourced technology teams. We are developing modern technology in-house and applying sophisticated customer acquisition strategies to shake up an OTA-dominated space with high barriers to entry.”
Life House structures its venture and real estate capital separately, allowing the venture-backed operating company to be asset-light and scalable without increasing its costs. “After investing in Life House’s Seed Round last fall, we are thrilled to lead the Series A for the company after their impressive progress and traction. The hotel and hostel space has been plagued by antiquated processes and technology. Rami and his team have the perfect combination of expertise and vision to execute on this massive opportunity that has high barriers-to-entry,” said Ludwig Ensthaler, partner at Global Founders Capital.
“The midscale hotel and hostel category have yet to conquer efficiencies and best practices around technology and operations,” said Daniel Gulati, partner at Comcast Ventures. “With a technology-led approach, Life House has an incredible opportunity to shake up the industry by delivering a fundamentally superior experience to guests, and unparalleled economics to real estate owners. Comcast Ventures could not be more excited to back Rami, Yury, and the Life House team.”
Life House properties will be locally rooted destinations for travelers and locals with rich social culture and community flavor. It will provide the benefits of an affordable boutique hotel to its guests and the benefits of an institutional operator to its real estate investors. All properties will offer a selection of private and bunk-bed rooms and uniquely crafted communal spaces through local food & beverage partners, developed and designed to fit the characteristics and charm of these neighborhoods.
Life House will launch its first two hotels in Miami this fall, followed by a property in Brooklyn, New York in early 2019. Leading up to its first opening, Life House has been running a pre-launch referral campaign that offers free trips and opening party invitations in exchange for spreading the word—a product that is commonplace in Silicon Valley, but a first for the hotel industry.
Source: Life House