New York-based technology-powered apartment-hotel brand Domio has raised $100 million in Series B funding, evenly divided between equity and debt financing. The equity round was led by GGV Capital, with participation from additional investors, including: Eldridge Industries, 3L Capital, Cain International, Tribeca Venture Partners, Softbank NY, Tenaya Capital and Upper90. The lead debt investor was Upper90, a New York-based credit fund specializing in providing growth capital.
Launched in August 2016, Domio has positioned itself as the “Airbnb of group travel.” The company, which rents out curated vacation apartments to group travelers, began by deploying its automation-enabled platforms to host more than 60,000 “instant” online bookings at its single-unit properties.
Earlier this year, Domio opened its first location in New Orleans. Today the company operates in 12 U.S. markets, most recently expanding its footprint into key flagship cities, including Miami, Philadelphia and Phoenix. The company reportedly uses a data-driven approach to identifying, acquiring and quickly listing an ever-expanding portfolio of properties and to optimizing its accommodations.
Domio’s apartment-hotel rooms are said to be five times larger than the average size of U.S. hotel rooms, making them perfect for groups, families and business travelers, and cost about 25 percent less than traditional hotels. Unlike Airbnb, Domio’s listings are wholly owned and managed by the company, which provides multiple advantages, including the ability to better control the branded experience.
“We are thrilled to partner with GGV Capital and grow our already successful relationship with Upper90 to become the most delightful hospitality brand in the world,” said Jay Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder of Domio, in a press statement. “Our business model is unique: to give guests more space at a fraction of the price than traditional hotels and with the consistency they don’t usually get from homesharing. Domio is changing the way people travel with uncompromised service and the most attractive rates.”
According to the company, the investment funds will allow Domio to expand its product offering beyond the U.S. market. The funds will be used for national and international expansion as well as talent recruitment.
Domio properties are located in trendy and prime downtown neighborhoods, configured as studios or multi-bedrooms, and offer amenities and services designed to appeal to the next generation of travelers. From keyless entry to fully stocked kitchens, guests can enjoy complimentary WiFi internet and 24/7 concierge and customer relations via text. Interiors offer a shoppable experience with custom-designed wallpaper, vibrant artworks, best-in-class towels, linens, bedding and furniture conceived by the in-house design team.
Domio has sought to stand out from competitors like AKA and hotel branded home-share ventures like Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio Homes in part by offering superior technology capabilities. This has enabled the company to reportedly achieve 400% year-over-year growth with an average occupancy rate of more than 80%, which is close to 20% higher than the hotel average.