Lyric, a heavily-backed short-term rental startup that lost its way during the COVID-19 pandemic, has emerged as a B2B business known as Wheelhouse and a pile of fresh funding.
The company has landed a $16 million funding round led by NEA and Highgate Ventures, with Signalfire, Fifth Wall, Tishman Speyer, 01 Advisors, Certares, RXR and PAR Capital also joining in.
Wheelhouse is positioning itself as a revenue management and business intelligence service for property management companies in the alternative accommodation sector.
The company is essentially a spin-off of the original Lyric business, refocusing the Wheelhouse Pro system that was developed in-house during 2019.
Even before the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, in the first week or March 2020, Lyric had downsized by laying of 25 of its employees and axed a third of its rental units.
It was the start of a process of closing down of the original business, including the departure of co-founder Joe Fraiman.
But CEO Andrew Kitchell stayed on with a skeleton staff and the technology for Wheelhouse Pro, eventually building the new business that has caught the eye of many of its original investors.
One backer that has not participated this time is Airbnb, which led a $160 million Series B round in April 2019 into Lyric.
"We believe travelers and residents alike will continue to seek flexible travel and rental options that enable them to live and work anywhere.
"Wheelhouse builds technology that helps businesses in our space thrive, so they can deliver unique and amazing experiences to the guests and residents who stay with them."
Like many of its competitors in the space, Wheelhouse connects with the likes of Tripadvisor, Hostfully, Guesty and Airbnb for dynamic pricing, market reporting and competitive analysis tools.