Hotel management startup Life House raises $30M for national expansion

Ashton Kutcher’s venture capital firm is an investor in the company that automates and consolidates back office operations

Jan.January 24, 2020 12:00 PM
Rami Zeidan, Ashton Kutcher, and Life House properties

Rami Zeidan, Ashton Kutcher, and Life House properties

Hotel management startup Life House raised $30 million to invest in technology as it seeks to expand into properties across the country. Its tech is now in hotels in the Miami area and Denver.

The Series B fundraising round was led by Thayer Ventures, which invests in technology companies in the travel industry. Other investors include Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Tiger Global, JLL Spark, former Morgans Hotel Group chairman David Hamamoto and Bedrock Detroit founder Jim Ketai.

Global Founders Capital, Comcast Ventures and Trinity Ventures, which previously invested in Life House, also participated in this round, according to a release. It had raised $10 million prior to this funding round.

Last summer, New York-based Life House secured a $100 million equity commitment from Blue Flag Partners to expand in seasonal markets. In that arrangement, Blue Flag said it would own the hotels and Life House will design and manage the properties.

Life House’s technology automates and consolidates back office operations of hotels, including bookkeeping. The company started off by working with smaller properties, and now typically works with hotels with an average of 75 rooms. Life House — whose largest hotel in its portfolio is 131 rooms — claims its technology greatly reduces operating costs compared to a traditional operator. Direct bookings account for 65 percent of its reservations.

It manages properties in Miami, Miami Beach and Denver, and will be expanding to six more hotels in Denver, Nantucket and Tennessee this spring. It recently re-opened Life House Collins Park and will run The Variety Hotel when it opens later this year, both in Miami Beach.

Life House is looking at markets where hotel owners are underserved by traditional hotel management companies and brands where “real estate prices make sense,” Zeidan said, and cities where there’s a gap between lifestyle hotels and budget hotels.

Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House, said the money will be used to improve its technology and grow the company’s business development operations. The company has only 30 employees, he said.

“When we sign a new location, we don’t have to invest in the new location,” he said. “Our only cost to growth is business development and salespeople,” Zeidan said. “Unlike WeWork, that has to build an infrastructure, we don’t really have to build any local infrastructure. Our product is pretty market agnostic.”

Related Articles

166 East Superior Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Streeterville hotel drops Cambria name amid $300K strike

Booking platform now lists weed-friendly accommodations in Illinois (Credit: iStock)

Airbnb for marijuana tourism launches in Chicagoland

The Hoxton hotel at 200 N. Green St. (Credit: iStock)

Hotels turn to day rates amid increasing competition

From left: 505 North Michigan Avenue, 660 North State Street,, 200 North Columbus Drive, 505 North State Street and 30 East Hubbard Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Here are the Chicago area’s 5 biggest hotel deals of 2019

Freehand Hotel and Queensgate Investment Company CEO Jason Kow

Queensgate lands $44M acquisition loan on hip Freehand Chicago hotel

Rendering of Sterling Bay/Magellan tower at 300 North Michigan Avenue just south of the Chicago River

Dutch hotelier to add 280 rooms to planned 47-story tower, then buy a piece of it

The site for the Cloud Kitchens at 4131 N Rockwell Street and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Chicago disrupts Uber co-founder’s CloudKitchens project

1035-1065 N Orleans St (Credit: Google Maps)

Developers place bets on another downtown hotel