Sonder to open second HQ in Canada with close of $275 mln Series D


Photo courtesy of Sonder

Montréal-born hospitality brand Sonder has raised about $275 million (US$210 million) in a Series D financing led by Valor Equity, Westcap and Nicolas Pritzker, all new investors.

The round values the business at more than US$1 billion, according to a news release.

Other first-time backers of the deal include Canada’s Inovia Capital, which earlier this year raised US$600 million for new venture and growth-equity funds, as well as ARod Corp, Atreides Capital and Fidelity.

Returning investors include Greenoaks Capital, Greylock Partners, Spark Capital and Structure Capital. An additional US$15 million investment is expected to be made by developers partnering with Sonder on global projects.

Sonder was conceived in 2012 by CEO Francis Davidson, then a student at McGill University, while renting out his apartment.

Davidson and COO Lucas Pellan later decided to turn the idea into a business. Sonder, originally known as Flatbook, was launched in 2014 as an online marketplace that facilitates “hometel” rental services for travellers and short-term stays.

Today, Sonder has more than 8,500 boutique living units in over 20 cities worldwide. It said it can now offer spaces like an “ivy-clad townhome in Rome, a penthouse in London, a cozy studio in New York or a restored historic property in Philly or Chicago.”

The company is projecting a US$400 million revenue run rate by the end of this year, four times that of 2018.

Sonder has its headquarters in San Francisco, relocating from Montréal in 2017. As part of the Series D, the company announced it will open a second global HQ in Canada. The city was not identified in the release.

In addition, Sonder plans to hire several hundred engineers, designers, finance and operations experts in the months ahead.

Sonder said it has raised more than $520 million (US$400 million) to date, including the Series D. Its existing Canadian backers include BDC Capital, Real Ventures and ScaleUp Ventures.

(This story was updated to note Sonder’s existing investors in Canada.)