Whimstay
Whimstay has raised more than $1 million in crowdfunding [Credit: Whimstay]

Whimstay raises over $1m in crowdfunding

US: Last-minute reservations platform Whimstay has raised over $1 million in crowdfunding through StartEngine to power its growth in the United States.

Currently active in 47 states across the United States, Whimstay set an initial goal to raise $1.07 million through StartEngine. After reaching its goal on 15 February, the startup’s round is currently oversubscribed, with 365 investors investing at $1.38 per share.

In the process, Whimstay has achieved an estimated valuation of $33 million.

In contrast to venture capital funding rounds, using StartEngine opens the company to smaller investors. The minimum investment amount per investor is approximately $250. Whimstay estimated that it would operate for nine months if it successfully reached its funding goal of $1.07 million.

This year, Whimstay has already announced partnerships with software company Inntopia, Florida-based vacation rental management firm VTrips, and Portland-based management platform Vacasa.

The startup works with professional property management companies to help hotels, resorts and luxury properties to sell unused inventory.

Bill Kushuba, VP of sales at Inntopia, said: “Today’s traveller looks very different than the traveller of even a decade ago, and the demand for last-minute bookings and unplanned getaways is absolutely part of that trend. By combining our incredible network of suppliers with Whimstay’s ability to fill gaps in last-minute inventory, this integration is a great match.”

Claiming to be the first-to-market aggregator of unsold vacation rental properties, Whimstay provides last-minute deals in the vacation rental market. The company charges service fees to travellers and properties, ranging from five to ten per cent of the booking for travellers and between three and five per cent for the resort or property.

Founded in 2018, Whimstay is based in San Francisco and operates in the United States, Canada and Mexico, although it is planning to expand into more states in the near future.

Alexander Alioto, founder and head of growth / partnerships at Whimstay, recently participated in ShortTermRentalz’ RockSTRz webinar on “Where do the OTAs go next?”, alongside representatives from WestCap, Rental Scale-Up and Holidu. Watch the webinar recording at this link.

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