US: New York-based Mint House has announced a $15 million financing round led by Revolution Ventures, with participation from other investors and hotel industry veterans.
The incoming investment will go towards helping the company to expand its offering, which caters to business travellers seeking apartment-style accommodations combined with the standards one would expect in luxury hotels.
In doing so, Mint House is set to enter an increasingly crowded marketplace, particularly with the emergence of Airbnb.
Mint House founder and CEO, Will Lucas, told TechCrunch that he was looking to provide business travellers with a comprehensive hotel experience that would be distinguishable from both hotels and short-term rentals.
The service works akin to a modern hotel booking process, where travellers book online and choose details and preferences for their trip.
The Mint House process begins as soon as the traveller arrives in the area or lands at the airport, whereby a geofence is tripped and they receive directions to enter their building. The guest can then access their room via their phone, which unlocks the door to their furnished apartment-style room.
The firm is focusing on expanding into further American markets beyond the top markets of New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Its service is already operating in Indianapolis, Denver, Nashville, Miami and Detroit.
The current offering amounts to 200 rooms in operation, with a further 200 scheduled to open by the summer season. Travellers can book a room on Mint House through the company’s app, website or on platforms such as Expedia, Booking.com and Airbnb.
Mint House leases buildings from property owners and each property will have its own dedicated staff of cleaners and management employed by the company. Similarly, each city in which Mint House is in operation has its own staff to monitor what is going on in their patch.
Lucas said: “We understand that we have two customers — the multifamily developers and the business traveller — and by prioritising both we’ve been able to secure A+ properties and deliver a top-rated guest experience.
“We have also formed a team of investors and advisors that are perfectly suited to help us differentiate ourselves in this lucrative market. With expertise and relationships in growing cities, as well as how to build world-renowned hospitality brands and services, we are confident that we can continue to build and expand alongside landlords and hospitality partners,” he added.
Lucas added that the company would support whatever regulations the company would have to comply with.
Other notable hospitality veterans who also participated in the financing round were Tom Mangas, the former CEO of Starwood Hotels; Carl Sparks, the former CEO of Travelocity; Kerry Hatch, the former president of St. Regis Hotels; and Rob Stewart, the executive vice chairman of JBG Smith. Philippe Bourguignon, vice chairman of Revolution Places, former CEO of Club Med and Euro Disney and former president of Accor Hotels, Asia Pacific will join the board.
As Mint House tries to establish itself in such a competitive space, it will have to be mindful to distinguish itself in a way that continues to cater to both of its core demographics – business travellers and property owners alike.
For more information, visit the Mint House website here.