Wheelhouse spins out of Lyric and raises $16m in funding

US: Revenue management and financial intelligence software, Wheelhouse, has announced that it has spun out of parent company Lyric and raised $16 million in funding.

The investment round was led by venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates [NEA] and Highgate Ventures. Investors such as Signalfire, Fifth Wall, Tishman Speyer, 01 Advisors, Certares, RXR and PAR Capital, as well as CEOs and industry leaders from the short-term rental space, real estate and proptech spaces, also participated in the round.

Founded in 2014, Wheelhouse will look to use the funding to accelerate the development of its revenue management platform to enable hospitality teams to improve the revenue performance and scalability of their portfolios and businesses, and capitalise on a $500 billion+ flexible rental space.

Today, Wheelhouse’s platform empowers businesses that are building in new brands and businesses at the convergence of the accommodations [$1 trillion in annual revenue] and residential real estate space [a $265 trillion asset class].

The company’s customer base manages listings ranging from single-family homes to resorts, multifamily buildings and boutique hotels, all of which are addressing the needs of a growing traveller demographic that seeks short- and mid-term length [one to 100+ days] accommodations, in spacious, furnished and amenity-rich spaces.

Wheelhouse founder and CEO, Andrew Kitchell, said: “We believe travellers and residents alike will continue to seek flexible travel and rental options that enable them to live and work anywhere. Wheelhouse builds technology that helps businesses in our space thrive, so they can deliver unique and amazing experiences to the guests and residents who stay with them.

“In 2021, we helped our customers increase revenue by an average of 21 per cent, by improving both revenue from and the utilisation of their spaces. With our new financing round, Wheelhouse is even better positioned to deliver professional operators the software and service level they both need and deserve,” he added.

The funding news follows the recent launch of Wheelhouse Worldwide, a data and software initiative that expanded the company’s presence from being available in major markets in 42 countries, to being available in any market, in more than 180 countries.

Looking ahead, Wheelhouse will continue to invest in tools and features to drive their core revenue management offering, and focus development efforts on addressing the needs of larger clients.

In addition, the company will increase its investments in research and software that enables corporate and mid-term rental operators to maximise revenue from their portfolios. With the rapid rise of 30+ day to ten-month stays, Wheelhouse’s pricing engine is designed to help operators drive stronger performance from an increasingly important category.

Rick Yang, general partner at New Enterprise Associates, said: “Wheelhouse shares our enthusiasm for maintaining strong conviction for cutting-edge innovation – despite overwhelming challenges. Their technology and collaborative approach have a lot of potential for the future generation of rental tech.

“We’re excited to work with Wheelhouse on their mission to produce category-defining software,” he added.

In addition to its small- and medium-sized business and enterprise customers, Wheelhouse powers more than 12 software products via its pricing and demand-alert APIs.

Kitchell continued: “With this financing behind us, Wheelhouse is positioned to deliver category-defining software to our customers in 2022 and beyond. In Q1 of this year, our product team shipped 30+ new product enhancements in just 90 days.

“Now, we’re positioned to scale our product team, in order to further develop our category’s most trusted & powerful pricing and financial intelligence platform,” he added.

Lyric’s troubles in public began in March 2020 before the global onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when it laid off around 20 per cent of its staff and retreated from a number of cities in which it was operating.

By November of that year, the company, which had raised around $180 million [including $160 million Series B round with Airbnb], had pivoted away from leasing buildings to selling software via its Wheelhouse platform.

To date, Wheelhouse has raised just over $19.5 million in funding according to Crunchbase, including a previous $3.5 million round in June 2016.