Airbnb is leading investment in business travel hospitality startup Lyric, which has just announced a $160 million Series B round.
In addition to the home-share giant, investors in Lyric include Tishman Speyer, RXR Realty, Obvious Ventures, former Twitter CEO and COO Dick Costolo and Adam Bain, respectively, and existing investors Barry Sternlicht, NEA, SignalFire, FifthWall and Tusk Ventures.
San Francisco-based Lyric, which partners with real estate developers to turn multifamily buildings into short- or long-term rentals with hotel-grade amenities for business travelers, has in total raised $185 million.
For Airbnb, the deal arrives just weeks after it confirmed investment in Indian hospitality brand OYO for a rumored $100 million to $200 million, as well as its acquisition of HotelTonight in March.
Its interest in Lyric comes as it gets its ducks in a row ahead of an eventual IPO, and as it continues to navigate urban regulation concerns, which Lyric skirts by working directly with real estate companies and landlords.
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“At Airbnb, we have seen how hospitality entrepreneurs like the team at Lyric can help deliver amazing experiences and help guests feel like they can belong anywhere in the world,” says Airbnb president of Homes Greg Greeley in a statement.
“Lyric has combined the latest technology, strong partnerships with the real estate community and cutting-edge design, and we are excited to support their work.”
Lyric says it works with 20 of the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Top 50 multifamily owners, managers and developers and provides owners “economic advantages by offering a professional, end-to-end experience built for the future of real estate and the changing shape of the modern traveler and resident.”
“We’re incredibly excited to have Airbnb, the company that reinvented how we travel, along with renowned real estate partners and elite investors believing in us at Lyric to create a new category of accommodations for the modern traveler,” says Andrew Kitchell, co-founder and CEO of Lyric.
“When people search for beautiful spaces or experiences, what they’re really looking for is a connection to a local community. From the music and artwork we hand-select, to the wallpaper we curate, our job is to be a storyteller for that community or building, and to help guests feel like they are a part of it.”
Its “Creative Suites” for professionals are available for stays of from one night to more than 200 nights, and each suite is curated by an in-house design team for optimal productivity and inspiration.
Lyric uses its proprietary technology to determine site locations and to manage revenue as well as safety and cleaning operations.
It’s currently available in New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh, but more markets will be added thanks to the new funding. The capital will also be used to build out Lyric’s technology and data platform.
Lyric joins others in the apart-hotel space receiving investment attention such as Sonder, which has raised $135 million, as well Domio, which counts $67 million in funding.
Added to the mix yesterday was Austin, Texas-based Locale, which landed $2.5 million in funding.