New York-based Life House, which operates as a boutique hotel company, announced it has raised $40 million in total funding, which includes $10 million in early-stage venture capital and $30 million in private equity. Backers include Henley Investments, Global Founders Capital, Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures. Life House was co-founded in 2017 by Rami Zeidan and Yury Yakubchyk.
LIFE HOUSE RAISES $40M TO LAUNCH ITS TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN, DIRECT TO CONSUMER LIFESTYLE HOTEL BRAND
Global Founders Capital & Comcast Ventures Lead Financing to Accelerate Product Innovation and Property Development
New York — Life House, the first Silicon Valley backed lifestyle hotel company, today announced it has secured $40M in funding to accelerate the development of its lifestyle boutique hotel product and proprietary technology platform. The company uses technology to drive direct bookings, optimize operations, and foster a social community for today’s travelers much like today’s modern direct-to-consumer brands – the first of its kind for the hotel industry.
Life House was 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 $10M in venture capital to fuel the operating and technology company and $30M in real estate capital to support its first projects in the U.S. The venture funding was completed in two rounds with Global Founders Capital, who led the Series A in February, and Comcast Ventures, who led the Series Seed round in September, while Trinity Ventures also made a significant investment. The real estate funding was led by Henley Investments, who 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 them like brick and mortar property management businesses,” said Zeidan, Life House’s Co-Founder & CEO. “We are applying the best practices from this e-commerce space to the lifestyle hotel space and are thrilled to have investors that understand our technology and customer acquisition strategy.”
Life House is a vertically integrated platform that solves travel problems. The Company not only operates hotels but also 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 also features a social network for guests to meet each other prior to arrival and is powered with a best-in-class proprietary booking experience that makes traveling alone or in a group much more seamless.
Co-Founder & 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 such high barriers to entry.”
The Company has been structured with separate venture and real estate capital, allowing the venture-backed operating company to be asset-light and scale without increasing its costs, much like a typical SAAS company, which attracted institutional venture capital investors. “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 and 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, and 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.
The Company will be launching its first two hotels in Miami this fall, followed by a property in Brooklyn New York in early 2019 with plans to design, develop and operate properties across 20 locations within the next two years. Prior to launch, Life House is running a referral campaign that offers free trips and opening party invitations in exchange for sharing the word – a product that is commonplace in Silicon Valley, but a first for the hotel industry.
About Life House
Life House creates lifestyle, boutique hotels at an affordable price point, powered by Life House’s world-class design, development, operations, and software engineering team. Life House comprises a collection of locally rooted brands, which will be housed within the Life House Group with a uniquely tiered offering and price point. Co-founded by Rami Zeidan and Yury Yakubchyk, Life House was developed by real estate executives and technologists with experience from Starwood, 1 Hotels, Sydell Group, Yotel, TPG, among others, and a unique value proposition that benefits both the real estate property owners and today’s experiential traveler. For more information, visit http://life-house.com.