The hospitality industry has been drastically shaken up by entrants to the space like Airbnb and Hotel Tonight. But a new startup that combines the sharing aspect of Airbnb and the last-minute booking of Hotel Tonight is looking to shake things up even more.
Overnight, an app that lets people book same-day spaces with local hosts, has today announced the close of a $2.5 million seed round, led by Accomplice and CrossCut Ventures. Other participants in the round include Paul Bricault and Elliott Bisnow.
So how does Overnight work?
Users who have to (or prefer to) book last-minute accommodations when they travel simply open up the app, sign up, and drop a pin in the area they want to stay. From there, they explain their overnight request in detail, which is also attached to their user profile.
Just like Airbnb, both guests and hosts must authenticate their identity through Facebook and their mobile phone number, with the suggestion to include a credit card and a government-issued ID.
From there, the request is sent out to suitable hosts who have the option to review the request before their place is shown to the guest. They can privately decline the request, or agree to host that particular user, which unlocks the space to be seen by that guest only.
Guests then have the option to browse through the various hosts that have agreed to host them and book instantly.
This could offer a good alternative to Airbnb, which lets users browse listings and book well in advance, forcing the host to keep a calendar of their incoming guests and request. All in all, Airbnb can be a bit heavy in comparison. By not showing spaces until the request has been approved, the process of finding a guest becomes a bit more streamlined with Overnight.
Plus, last-minute guests will only have to look at spaces that they know are available tonight, as opposed to browsing through hundreds of spaces that might not be available.
Though Overnight wouldn’t share specific numbers, the company says it takes a lower commission than Airbnb on the host side of the transaction.
With this funding, Overnight is officially launching out of beta in the Los Angeles area with plans to launch in Austin ahead of SXSW. The company says that it has “hundreds” of hosts in the Los Angeles area.