Tech Transformers

Onefinestay, a luxury Airbnb rival just raised $40 million

Onefinestay – which lets you rent out private luxury homes – announced a $40 million funding round on Monday, as competition in the hospitality space continues to heat up.

The money, which the British start-up said would be spent on training, technology and global expansion, takes its total funding to $80 million. Intel Capital was one of the investors in the round, which also included Hyatt Hotels -- despite onefinestay being a competitor to major hotel chains.

"The journey for us over the next year, two years, is to add a variety of new cities into the ecosystem and scale up internationally," Greg Marsh, co-founder and CEO of onefinestay, told CNBC in an interview on Monday.


The start-up differs to the better-known Airbnb because the homes featured on its site are serviced by onefinestay's team – similar to hotels. Linen, towels and other amenities are provided by onefinestay.

On average, guests pay more than $600 per night to rent a property, the company said – substantially more than most Airbnb listings.

Its latest funding round comes after Airbnb raised $1.5 billion, giving it a $25.5 billion valuation, according to a Wall Street Journal report last week.

Onefinestay bills itself as a challenger to established hotel players. It claims that its portfolio across London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles is six times bigger than the combined inventory of The Ritz, The Plaza, Hotel George V and Hotel Bel-Air.

The company also announced on Monday that it had poached Tom Singer – the former InterContinental Hotels chief financial officer – to be its finance chief.

CEO Marsh said that interest in hospitality technology start-ups should worry the established players.

"This is an idea whose time is come…this is fundamentally something that is making established hospitality companies sit up and take notice," he told CNBC.

Marsh would not confirm whether the company was eying an initial public offering, but said the aim was to continue to grow.

"We have a lot of ambitious shareholders who share our desire to build a very big business," he added. "We aspire to build a global hospitality brand and we are on the journey to that end and money helps us get there faster."