Short-term rental startup Kasa raises $30M

Startup said sales rose 50% during Covid as city dwellers looked for escape

Roman Pedan (Linkedin)
Roman Pedan (Linkedin)

The hospitality industry has been battered by the pandemic, but there’s a small glimmer of hope: Short-term rental startup Kasa Living has just raised $30 million.

The company, which rents out vacant hotel rooms and apartments, will use the Series B to improve its software and streamline operations, Forbes reported.

The round was led by Ribbit Capital, with RET Ventures, Zigg Capital, FirstMark Capital, Allegion Venturs and BoxGroup. The funding brings Kasa’s total to more than $50 million; last year, it raised a previously undisclosed $20 million Series A.

Based in San Francisco, Kasa was started in 2016 by Roman Pedan, then a student at Stanford business school. Piggybacking on Airbnb’s popularity, his concept was to create a standardized experience for guests in underutilized hotels and multifamily buildings.

Since 2018, the company has grown from 100 rooms to nearly 1,000 in 35 cities. It claims to have 100,000 bookings a year with annualized sales of $30 million.

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In general, short-term rentals have been hit hard by the pandemic, as travelers were forced to cancel plans and stay home. In June, Sonder raised $170 million, but companies like Lyric and Stay Alfred have gone out of business.

Pedan said Kasa’s sales rose 50 percent during the pandemic as customers looked to escape city life. Still, the company is not yet profitable, he said.

After an initial drop-off in bookings, Airbnb has also said its business is picking up. The company is looking to raise $3 billion in a December IPO. It burned $1.2 billion over the past year, according to news reports.

[Forbes] — E.B. Solomont