If Airbnb has normalized the concept of letting strangers sleep in your home, Onefinestay is taking that notion up a few luxurious notches. The London-based startup looks and sounds like Airbnb, but attempts to create a more high end experience by curating the rentals listed on the site to give travelers the opportunity to live in local, swanky homes. While it may sound like Onefinestay is a copycat, the startup is sure holding its own after raising $12 million in their Series B round of funding and recently expanding to New York City. To give some context, the initial funding garnered $3.7 million, only about a third of Series B.
Calling their listings the “unhotel,” Onefinestay adds an exclusive touch to each listing by providing its own linens, towels, and Kiehl’s toiletries, as well as a more detailed listing as far as what makes the apartment or home stand out. Is it made for architectural enthusiasts, or a young couple on their honeymoon? Is it baby-safe?
When booking with Onefinestay, guests also get a free iPhone to help them navigate the city as well as travel tips and free local calling. Hotel-like services are also available, such as private chefs, florists, and housekeeping, and even an on-call ‘concierge’ where you can phone a helpline to get advice on getting some late-night grub or if you need an extra toothbrush.
Of course, one stark difference between Airbnb and Onefinestay is that the latter is also one expensive stay. While Airbnb will allow you to rent out your couch or dorm room, curated Onefinestay listings in New York City alone ranges anywhere between $190 to upward of $1,020 a night. For that kind of pricing, you could get an actual hotel in the city but have slightly less privacy and access from the full facilities offered in a typical apartment. For those making last minute travel plans to London for the Olympics, Onefinestay might make a nice alternative if you can afford the experience.
On the host’s end, if your apartment is selected to list on the site, Onefinestay will come over to help you prepare the space for guests and provide professional cleaning after guests have checked out.
Since its launch two years ago in London, Onefinestay has expanded from six to 500 homes. Those using their apartments as secondary source of income are making “significantly more than $50,000 a year,” reports TechCrunch. If you’ve got a great apartment and want to take up home rental without doing most of the work, perhaps Onefinestay could be the solution for this summer. Other cities the startup is looking to expand to includes Paris, Chicago, Boston, and Berlin.
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