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 11:00 AM
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.”

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