If you owned a swanky apartment or house, would you really want to rent it out to strangers? Well, startup onefinestay seems to have found an audience for its upscale twist of the Airbnb model, which it describes as running an “unhotel.”
The company says there are now more than 1,000 members in London and New York listing their homes exclusively through its service. The service launched in London, but onefinestay says it’s growing quickly in New York, where there are now 150 members. The total has apparently quadrupled in the past 12 months — and back in July, when it raised a $12 million Series B, the company said it had crossed 500 homes.
The goal of the service is to combine a distinctive local experience with the convenience of a hotel. Owners provide the property, while onefinestay provides linen service and toiletries, as well as an iPhone app where you can find recommendations from your host and order other services like cleaning and a private chef.
Altogether, onefinestay says its property portfolio is worth $2.5 billion. Noteworthy spots include an apartment in the clock tower of London’s St. Pancras Station and this historic apartment in New York. Prices range from $250 per night for a one-bedroom apartment to more than $2,000 per night for a “grand townhouse.”
The company now employs more than 100 people, recently luring Silicon Valley-based Jackson Hull to London to serve as its CTO.
onefinestay gives visitors to London the chance to stay in a home with the service of a hotel while the owner is out of town, and owners an extra source of hassle-free income. Guests are travellers who might otherwise stay in a boutique or upscale hotel, but are seeking a new experience. The service is marketed to regular business travellers, professionals, and families with small children. The company cleans and tidies the home before they arrive and provides high quality...