A new hotel brand has secured $40 million in funding to develop
its boutique hotel product and proprietary technology platform that it says
will allow its properties to bypass online travel agencies.
Life House will not only operate hotels – the first two are scheduled
to open in Miami this fall – it will also develop and design them for real estate
The funding consists of $10 million in venture capital for the
company’s operations and technology platform and $30 million in real estate
capital to fund the development of its first few properties.
Global Founders Capital led the series A round in February,
Comcast Ventures led the seed round in September and Trinity Ventures also
invested. Henley Investments led the real estate investment and also
participated in the venture rounds.
In an email a company spokesperson says Life House will use
a “tech-powered customer acquisitions team that optimizes our room pricing and
distribution channels, maximizes long term value with our customers and
Life House’s technology system will include a social network to help
guests meet one another before they arrive at the property. The system will
also be used to drive direct bookings and optimize operations.
Those who register on the Life House site get a referral code to
share with friends and rewards, such as free stays and an invitation to opening
parties, if those friends also sign up. Members also earn free drinks if they
connect their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The company says these technology-driven customer acquisition strategies
appealed to its Silicon Valley-based investors.
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“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,”
says Rami Zeidan, Life House’s co-founder and CEO.
“We are applying the best practices from the e-commerce space to
lifestyle branded hotels and are thrilled to have investors who believe in our
technology and growth strategy.”
Zeidan describes Life House as a “vertically-integrated platform that sources, executes, develops and operates lifestyle hotels in a one-stop shop.”
The company says this will provide a more agile, ROI-focused
approach than the traditional model where hotels are operated by real estate companies,
but the bulk of their sales are controlled by technology companies – the OTAs.
“The midscale hotel and hostel category have yet to conquer
efficiencies and best practices around technology and operations,” says 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."
Life House properties will offer a mix of private rooms and
communal spaces with bunk beds, with food and beverage selections provided by
Following the Miami openings this fall, the company says it will
open its next property in Brooklyn in early 2019.