Company raised over $70M in less than one year, and is on track to add over 20 hotels to its portfolio by the end of 2019.
Life House launches a collection of lifestyle hotels that are experience-driven, locally-rooted, and accessible to everyone. The first two hotels are located in Miami’s Little Havana and South Beach neighborhoods, and begin accepting reservations today. The company also unveils its proprietary technology platform, which provides a frictionless direct booking journey, mobile app, and social network for travelers.
Life House is founded by Rami Zeidan, a seasoned hotel and real estate executive and Yury Yakubchyk, a software entrepreneur. The company has raised $70 million in funding to date between venture and real estate capital, with investment from Global Founders Capital, Comcast Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Henley Investments, among others. As the first US-based lifestyle hotel company to be backed by venture and real estate capital, Life House is positioned to modernize an antiquated industry.
“The problems in the hotel industry are multi-faceted and stem from technology and real estate – not solely price, or solely experience,” said Zeidan. “The ability to bring prices down and improve the guest experience requires a holistic solution to the technology, real estate, operations and branding. Life House is focused on all of these components, and our capital and expertise provides us the opportunity to make it happen.”
Life House remains asset-light and signs long term management agreements instead of leases, a rarity in Silicon Valley. Despite the popularity of leases in the real estate tech space, the company is being cautious of signing leases with mismatched duration in a cyclical hotel market. This approach allows the company to scale its revenues without increasing its expenses, much like a SaaS product.
Life House’s diverse expertise allows for vertical integration, from construction, design, technology, food and beverage, and operations. Through this model, Life House creates cohesive, expressive hotels, while drastically reducing the cost and time to develop and operate them. Those savings are passed on to investors who in turn pass them on to travelers, providing them a 4.5-star hotel experience at a fraction of the price.
Global Founders Capital Partner, Ludwig Ensthaler, states, “We are thrilled to see Life House launching such a complex and robust platform only several months after their Series A. With this launch, Life House is poised to quickly scale up in the near trillion-dollar hotel market that has long been ripe for disruption.”
To power the company’s digital marketing, pricing and distribution, finance and accounting, and on-property operations, Life House created its own technology platform, a single hub of data that can be used to nimbly target the right customers, and innovate as needed. In addition to the back-end technology, the company offers an intuitive and branded booking experience, akin to what modern consumers have become accustomed to from other direct to consumer brands.
“Existing hotel technology architecture is dated and suffers from siloed vendors and messy APIs, leading to unstable, and vulnerable integrations,” says Yury Yakubchyk, co-founder and CTO of Life House. “The solution requires a modern approach to software development and a significant amount of capital; we’ve built a robust team to architect a scalable hotel management platform from the bottom up.”
An industry first, and one of Life House’s most defining features is its social network – a product that allows guests traveling on the same dates to opt into an online community where they can make plans, meet spontaneously, join forums based on interest (i.e. nightlife, wellness, food, art etc.), and ultimately meet in person on-property. Additionally, verified local members will belong to the community to foster community and conversation between guests and locals, and organize events and activities.
Each Life House hotel has its own unique identity that is thoughtfully designed to embody the spirit of the neighborhood. Every space is crafted to inspire creativity and encourage connection with a distinct aesthetic and story that is tied together through the shared Life House ethos. The properties weave in the local history and culture in a modern way – through innovative food and beverage, music, and more – while still offering a consistent, high-end hospitality experience.
Life House begins taking reservations today with its doors opening shortly thereafter in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, quickly followed by a second location in South Beach. The hotels offer a mix of room types catering to all travelers who appreciate an experience at a conscious price point. The brand will always offer a room category that is less than $149 per night, and for a limited time, rooms will open at $109.
Life House is pacing to have over 20 hotels under development in the U.S. by the end of 2019. After Miami, the team will open new hotels in Denver and Brooklyn.