US: Tiny cabin rental startup Getaway has raised $41.7 million in a Series C funding round led by private investment firm Certares, with continued support from existing investors.
Founded in 2015, the “outdoor and wellness focused” hospitality company builds collections of tiny cabins – known as “Outposts” – in rural locations surrounded by nature within a two-hour drive from major cities across the United States.
Interest in Getaway cabins soared in 2020 as the company reported a 150 per cent increase in year-on-year bookings and close to 100 per cent occupancy across its extensive portfolio. The accommodation type has become an increasingly attractive choice for travellers wanting to escape crowded urban centres in search of remote destinations conducive to social distancing in the Covid-19 era.
Getaway plans to use the capital to accelerate its development and expansion across the country, including opening up new Outposts in time for potential domestic staycations over the summer. The company currently operates 12 Outposts and has added three new locations during the pandemic, near Austin and San Antonio, Houston [both Texas], and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Getaway founder and CEO, Jon Staff, said: “Our mission at Getaway has always been to provide people with a simple way to disconnect in nature, and in 2020 we have seen people turn to Getaway as a destination to safely disconnect. We’re excited to partner with Certares to continue our mission to provide mindful escapes where people can safely travel and reconnect with nature.”
Last year, New York-based investment management firm Certares was reported to be planning to raise $1 billion for a new fund with Knighthead Capital Management which would seek to capitalise on a recovery for businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its managing directors will now contribute their expertise to supporting Getaway’s rapid growth strategy.
Greg O’Hara, founder and senior managing director of Certares, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Getaway. Since its founding, Getaway’s commitment to the guest experience has resulted in exceptional customer satisfaction, which has propelled the company’s market-leading growth.
“Getaway is a great fit for Certares and we are excited to leverage our extensive industry resources to help the company continue to grow,” he added.
Certares managing director Richard Moreau said: “We believe there is a strong desire by people to spend more time in nature, and Getaway offers an appealing outdoor experience to the urban consumer. We are excited to be partnering with Jon and his team and look forward to working together to continue Getaway’s mission.”
The cabin rental startup is pursuing rapid domestic expansion in new markets outside of Chicago, Nashville and Seattle, taking the company’s portfolio to 17 Outposts [a near 100 per cent growth in two years]. Getaway is also aiming to add a third Outpost in New York and a second in Boston, with plans in place to confirm new locations later this year.
The Series C raise takes Getaway’s total funding amount to $81.8 million, following a $22.5 million Series B round headed up by Starwood Capital in June 2019.
Back in December, ShortTermRentalz predicted that tiny and mobile homes would be preferred types of lodging in 2021, based on the proliferation of startups such as Getaway and San Francisco-based Globe. The success of both startups points to how confined spaces can offer the booking flexibility that vacationers crave; the former seeing bookings surge in June and July 2020 by 260 per cent on the three months prior.