Texas: Austin-based apart-hotel brand Locale has announced it has secured $2.5 million in Seed Round funding led by Amplo and Susa Ventures.
It represents Locale’s first funding round since the company’s launch in Austin in late 2016.
Since then, Locale has expanded to Houston and Nashville, where it now leases and manages more than 150 furnished apartments for short and extended stays. With the additional investment, Locale will seek to enhance its product offering by committing to accommodation and technology advancements, growing its brand awareness and expanding into further markets.
The company has made expansion plans with developers of upscale multi-family properties in San Francisco, Houston’s Texas Medical Center, Santa Monica and Denver, which will be open for bookings in the autumn.
Amplo founder and CEO, Sheel Tyle, said: “What attracted me to Locale is how thoughtful they are in building the next generation of accommodations. Locale is redefining the short-term rental category by introducing a premium, boutique apartment hotel brand centred around well-designed, locally curated and hospitality-driven accommodations.”
Locale founder and CEO, Nitesh Gandhi, who is also an experienced hotelier, has already invested time and money in features such as hotel quality linens, locally roasted coffee, smart appliances, contemporary furnishings and function by instantly-confirmed reservations, keyless entry with built-in security systems, and 24/7 guest service, to ensure the best guest experience.
Gandhi said: “We’re excited that our investors and partners share our vision for bringing a premium apart-hotel brand to the market, something that delivers a consistently higher quality guest experience than what’s provided by the current group of short-term rental operators.
“Locale is addressing the evolving needs and desires of today’s business and leisure traveller, who seeks intentionality in their travel experience. From an elevated in-room design to high quality product partners, we’re curating a unique experience that will elevate the Locale brand and bring much needed differentiation to this category of accommodations,” he added.
To coincide with its growth, Locale says it is committed to working alongside local governments and sticking to operating within commercial and mixed-use zones only. By partnering directly with real estate developers, owners and lenders, the firm can determine the best way forward for the building, its residents, the brand and the neighbourhood.
The Dinerstein Companies president Brian Dinerstein said: “Locale is best in class – we have worked with lots of different short-term rental operators and they are by far and away the most professional and effective. They have an owner’s mentality and are focused on adding long-term value to our properties.”
Locale’s team has grown to more than 25 employees after recruiting talented figures from the hospitality and real estate sectors.
Recent appointments to senior positions include Keith Amaker as the director of guest experience, previously at Four Seasons and TurnKey; Jim Hill, VP of sales formerly at Hilton and TravelClick; Heather Haberkorn, director of revenue management formerly at InterContinental Hotels Group; and Boyce Rigby, director of real estate, formerly at Stream Realty Partners and ARA.
For more information on Locale, visit the company website here.