Rental startup Recharge to add private homes to platform

San Francisco: Short-term rental startup Recharge is reportedly planning to add private homes to its platform, following a $10 million funding round.

The San Francisco-based startup allows hotels to rent out their rooms for short-term periods of minutes or hours at a time, promoting them as private spaces where they can catch a “nap”.

Recharge is now receiving its third venture capital round from Fifth Wall, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Binary Capital.

Working similarly to other platforms such as Hotel Tonight, the mobile app allows hotels to list their unreserved spaces to users looking for an ultra-short-term stay.

Now the company is looking to take on Airbnb, but instead of booking a private home or room for a night or more like with traditional lettings, Recharge lets renters use a space for as little as 30 minutes for taking a nap.

The platform, which is already available in San Francisco and New York, will kick off its home rental venture with 1,000 listings in those cities, as well as Los Angeles.

Additionally, the company says that there are currently 80,000 people on its waiting list as customers look to receive a deal in one of the country’s most expensive markets.

The company told TechCrunch: “To celebrate the launch and continue to expand our community, early Recharge hosts that are approved to be part of the Recharge 100 of each city will receive a guaranteed $1,000 per month. Recharge 100 is a group of early supporters and activists in each city that share their homes.”

Users who list their sought-after properties can earn more than $2,000 per month if they opt to take on cleaning services themselves. The cleanup needs would likely be minimal as Recharge specialises in short-term stays without any overnight stays.

Recharge aims to extend the current flow of bookings, which finds users staying on average two-and-a-half hours in its spaces.

Recharge CEO and co-founder Manny Bamfo said: “What’s missing in a city is privacy. In your home right now you can shower, you can cry, you can do pushups, you can run around, you can meditate, pray but when you’re in the city, you have this mask on and you can’t unmask and offices don’t allow you to unmask because you’re being watched still.”

Since launching back in 2016, Recharge has had more than 50,000 bookings on its apps from hotels alone.