Domio raises $12 million to accelerate development of technology platform

United States: New York-based travel technology platform Domio has announced it has raised $12 million in Series A funding this week.

The round of funding was led by Tribeca Venture Partners. SoftBank Capital NY and Loric Ventures also participated in this round.

Following this round of funding, Domio is planning to accelerate the development of its technology platform and scale its aparthotel brand globally. Domio previously raised $5 million in equity and convertible debt financing from several individuals and angel investors within the real estate industry.

At the same time, Domio revealed a $50 million joint venture with Upper 90, which was set up in September. As part of this deal, Domio will exclusively fund the leasing and operating of as many as 25 apartment-style hotels for group travellers.

Its first aparthotel property – Domio Baronne ST – is set to open in New Orleans on 1 December 2018.

Domio claims its properties cater to group travellers by providing those with friends or family with a more affordable option by charging 25% less than similarly-sized hotels. The average booking conducted on Domio has been for five guests and a median unit of three bedrooms and 1,500 square feet, meaning they are five times the average hotel size in the U.S.

Domio CEO Jay Roberts said: “We’re excited to have investors such as Tribeca, SoftBank Capital NY, Loric Ventures, and Rubicon VC on board to capitalise on the multi-trillion dollar opportunity in front of us as the hospitality industry moves to asset-light management and global travellers seek alternative accommodations.

“The asset and operations-heavy approach of traditional hotels has made it difficult for them to meet the growing demand from travellers for larger, apartment style properties and marginalised the investment opportunity in this burgeoning market.

“Our proprietary technology and data models drive market and building selection, while our asset-light model enables Domio to efficiently operate aparthotel accommodations to provide guests the experience they want while increasing the profitability of our properties,” he added.

The company operates its aparthotel accommodations so that its properties are branded and designed similarly to offer a higher stand stay across all locations. This differs from other vacation rental companies where listings are made up of properties from millions of different owners.

So far, it has hosted more than 70,000 guests across properties in Austin, Nashville, San Diego, Boston, New Orleans, and Honolulu.

Its use of software to optimise accommodations led to sales growth of 400 per cent year-over-year and is currently hitting an occupancy rate of more than 82 per cent, which is nearly 20 per cent higher than the average rate for hotels.