Stay Alfred, a Spokane, Wash. lodging startup that operates short-term rentals out of the downtown neighborhoods of major U.S. cities, just closed a $15 million Series A investment round.
CEO Jordan Allen confirmed the investment came from a private equity group in Seattle that prefers not to be named. This is the first time Stay Alfred has raised capital.
The startup will use the funds to scale across more cities in the U.S. and launch internationally in about 18 to 24 months. Stay Alfred’s goal is to grow from about 350 properties in 12 U.S. cities to more than 4,000 properties around the world.
“We’re building nationwide and the reason for the capital is, eventually, an international brand that lies between your consistent hotel stay and this new vacation rental, short-term rental, Airbnb/HomeAway stay,” said Allen.
Stay Alfred’s customers are primarily leisure travelers or people who want a hotel experience with the flexibility of a furnished apartment. Allen says patients traveling for medical treatment, with equipment and staff, may prefer a Stay Alfred rental over other lodging. Stay Alfred leases individual units and entire buildings in cities and then rents them out on a short-term basis to travelers. Its team handles the furnishing, cleaning, booking, and customers service for each rental. The result is all the amenities of a furnished apartment with the consistency and customer service of a hotel.
Previously on GeekWire: Stay Alfred: The biggest short-term rental startup you’ve never heard of is on track for $25M in revenue this year
“A hotel room is pretty small and then do you really want to be doing medical stuff in some guy’s spare bedroom? It’s just kind of weird. There’s an undeniable need for what our product is,” said Allen told GeekWire last summer.
Stay Alfred has 72 employees and recently hired several new executives and a marketing team. The Series A cash will help the startup navigate its evolution from a short-term rental company, like Airbnb, to a hybrid that operates more like a hotel.
“We really grew up as a vacation rental company and we’re turning into a hospitality company,” said Allen. “They’re just two different worlds. Hotels have outside sales, where they’re attracting group and business travel, and a lot of other types of sales. Vacation rentals really just relied on a couple channels, like Airbnb and VRBO, to bring in the majority of their business. We’re really evolving into more of a different hospitality brand, kind of in-between the hotel and vacation rental. Kind of the best of both worlds.”