Luxury Retreats, an “Airbnb for mansions,” raises $11M

Luxury Retreats Poulin
From left: Miami's Villa Blanca, listed on Luxury Retreats for $9,000 to $14,000 per night, and Joe Poulin

From the New York website: A luxury rental site that can best be described as Airbnb for mansions raised $11 million in Series B funding, in another sign of how the sharing economy is making inroads into real estate.

Montreal-based Luxury Retreats, which lists vacation mansions and apartments with prices often exceeding $1,000 per night, has now raised a total of $16 million from investors. The latest round was led by Canadian venture capital firm iNovia Capital, as first reported by TechCrunch.

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Luxury Retreats was founded by Joe Poulin in 1999. Many of its competitors in the home-sharing space have picked up serious cash from investors in recent years. Onefinestay, a rival site that lists short-term mansion rentals, raised $40 million from investors including Hyatt Hotels in late 2014. Meanwhile, Airbnb, which lists homes — and sometimes treehouses — in all price categories, is expanding across the globe, and is reportedly valued at more than $20 billion.

As the largest real estate market in the U.S., New York City has drawn significant interest from these startups and Luxury Retreats is reportedly planning to expand its presence in the Big Apple. The site currently lists five apartments on Central Park South and one unit in an Upper West Side high rise, with nightly rents ranging from $450 to $3,000.