Stay Alfred, VC-backed hospitality startup, closes for good

Washington-based short-term rental company failed to raise needed funding

National /
May.May 20, 2020 06:11 PM
Stay Alfred CEO Jordan Allen
Stay Alfred CEO Jordan Allen

Stay Alfred, a hospitality startup that raised $62 million, is closing its doors for good.

Ending weeks of speculation and rumor, CEO Jordan Allen said revenue dried up during the coronavirus pandemic, and in March, the firm failed to raise $30 million in funding that would have let it stay open. It was also unable to sell off assets.

“At one point, we were a $100 million company. And now, it’s over,” Allen told the Spokane Business Journal, which first reported the company’s closure.

Founded in 2010, Stay Alfred — not to be confused with Hello Alfred, a startup that coordinates errands and other tasks — generated $100 million in revenue from short-term rentals last year, Allen said. That was up from $66.5 million in 2018.

Before the pandemic hit, the Spokane, Washington-based firm had 221 employees and operated 2,500 units in 33 cities.

The company shut down social media accounts last month, fueling rumors that the business was closing for good. At the time, a spokesperson told The Real Deal that Stay Alfred had to close properties and furlough employees because of Covid-19, but that the company would remain in business.

Stay Alfred is now operating with a skeleton crew of 50 employees who will help wind down the business. Allen said the company will help customers who had booked rooms find other accommodations.

Travel ban and stay-home orders meant to slow the spread of the virus have pummeled the hospitality industry in particular. Stay Alfred competitors Lyric and Sonder have laid off staff.

Airbnb, which raised a $2 billion financial lifeline earlier this month, also had to lay off 2,000 employees after projecting a 50 percent drop in revenue. [Spokane Business Journal] — E.B. Solomont


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