US: Mid-term housing rental and property management startup, Zeus Living, has reportedly told landlords this week that it is “winding down operations”, according to The Information.
In an email that was seen by the online publication, Zeus Living is said to have told landlords that it was “struggling financially” and that it would no longer be able to guarantee payments on homes, at a time when businesses in the real estate tech sector are facing challenges with rising interest rates.
Unlike marketplaces such as Airbnb, Zeus managed its homes and rented out the properties for 30+ day stints, although Zeus homes have been listed on Airbnb and other platforms. It also redecorated and furnished properties before renting out to relocated workers and corporate travellers, with a focus on giving guests more options to move around flexibly with less commitment.
Since its founding in 2015, the startup raised around $125 million, including a $55 million Series B round with participation from Airbnb in December 2019 and more recently another $55 million round in October 2021, for its flexible living model. On top of that, Zeus achieved an estimated valuation of $205 million four years ago.
At its height, Zeus had grown to offer almost 5,000 homes in 96 cities such as Austin, Miami, Philadelphia and Portland. The startup also laid off 156 staff during two rounds of layoffs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, although CEO Kulveer Taggar later said that many of them had been reemployed by Zeus.
The likes of Initialized Capital, CEAS Investments, TI Platform Management, NFX, Comcast, Alumni Ventures Group and Spike Ventures were also confirmed investors in Zeus.
STRz is reaching out to Zeus Living for comment.