On Tuesday, alternative lodging service WhyHotel announced the close of a $10 million Series A funding round. The round was led by Highland Capital Partners, with participation from Camber Creek, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Mendacre, MetaProp and Geolo Capital.
The company temporarily turns brand new luxury apartment building units into pop-up hotel suites, as the building works to fill the vacancies with leased tenants. This initial period can run 18-24 months.
With the funding, WhyHotel is expanding its reach into Northern Virginia with three new pop-up hotels and will continue expanding nationwide in 2019. Some of the funds will be used to hire new positions in areas including tech, brand, sales and human capital, the company said in a statement.
BREAKING: @whyhotel is proud to announce we have secured $10M in Series A funding led by @HighlandCapital, and 3 new hotels are set to pop-up in NoVA in 2019! The new funding will be utilized to launch new pop-ups, source top talent + build out our brand!https://t.co/oOJ2TkUUcD
— WhyHotel (@WhyHotel) December 11, 2018
After a previous pilot in Pentagon City’s The Bartlett apartments last year, the company closed on a $3.94 million seed round in June, led by Rockville-based Camber Creek, and with participation from Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Technical.ly DC previously reported. WhyHotel brought its short-term rentals to the District in October out of 100 K St. NE in NoMa and will continue this service until May 2019, Jason Fudin, WhyHotel cofounder and CEO told Technical.ly in an interview.
The three new locations will be situated in different Northern Virginia neighborhoods with varying unit amounts. Here’s where they’ll be, according to the company:
- The Ballston Quarter pop-up will house up to 175 WhyHotel units and will be located at 700 N Randolph Street, in partnership with property owners Brookfield Properties and QIC Global Real Estate.
- The Centro Arlington pop-up will house up to 150 WhyHotel units and will be located at 950 South George Mason Drive, in partnership with Orr Partners and Weingarten Realty.
- The Boro pop-up will house up to 150 WhyHotel units located at the future apartment building branded as Rise addressed 8305 Greensboro Drive in Tysons, in partnership with The Meridian Group and KETTLER.
“This is our backyard, this is where we live. Naturally, it seemed like a good fit,” Fudin said when Technical.ly asked about the move to Northern Virginia opposed to other markets.
Fudin said he and WhyHotel cofounder and president Bao Vuong have strong roots in this area. so they are excited to expand. The two left their corporate jobs in 2017 to launch WhyHotel.
“We are most looking forward to expanding our footprint,” Fudin said.
The new locations are strategically located with proximity to The Pentagon, The Pentagon’s training center, Foreign Service Institute, and DARPA. Guests get access to furnished luxury apartments, each building’s amenities and 24/7 onsite hospitality and security staff, similarly to a regular hotel. Current residents in each location partnered with WhyHotel will get discounted rooms for family and friends, and access to WhyHotel cleaning staff.
“WhyHotel provides a better product and a better customer experience to business and leisure travelers for their short-term housing needs,” Craig Driscoll, partner at Highland Capital Partners said in a statement. “The WhyHotel team has taken a leadership position in helping modern cities and leading property developers provide visitors with a more flexible and cost-effective housing option. We are proud to be partnered with the WhyHotel team on this journey.”
Fudin said the company is looking to expand beyond the East Coast in 2019, while working to build out a large geographical team and expand more locations in its current markets.
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