The advent of modern society has not made the nomadic lifestyle disappear — it just made it change its look. Just ask New York-based startup Stayawhile, a company that means to provide “medium-term housing” to those denizens of the 21st century who just cannot settle down. Think of it as the middle ground between a lease on an apartment and an Airbnb — perfect for those who are not exactly keen on commitment, but would like to, well, stay a while.
Just a couple days ago, the young company announced that it had secured $1.5 million in seed funding, which ought to help increase headcount (there are only six employees at this point), and actually furnishing the office space (apparently, Stayawhile is a bit nomadic itself). And while it only recently received its first round of funding, it has already gotten quite a bit of work done. Already, four prototype spaces in New York have been created, and reservations for properties in the Big Apple and Boston will be available beginning next month. And the company is not stopping on the East Coast — in the coming months, they will be adding not only Washington D.C., but also San Francisco, London, Paris, and Los Angeles to its list of cities.
Users will have to apply for membership to Stayawhile and pass a credit check, and then will be able to store personal items and “trunks” at their temporary homes. All of Stayawhile’s properties will be standardized and come with some pretty tech-forward amenities, like 50-inch Samsung televisions, Amazon Echo Dots, Roomcast, Leesa mattresses, Parachute bedding, PuurBody bath and body products, and kitchens and bathrooms featuring Crate & Barrel amenities.
“It’s as if Airbnb and Soho house had a baby,” CEO Janine Yorio said of her new company in an interview with Curbed, “If a boutique hotel company decided to create housing for upscale nomads.”
Ultimately, Stayawhile hopes that it can compete with corporate housing, a rather lucrative industry that currently claims $3 billion in revenue a year. Stayawhile will charge its members $1,000 a week (you will have to stay for a month, at minimum), which includes maintenance, Wi-Fi, and all taxes. This figure is a bit more expensive than an apartment lease, but cheaper than a hotel, and about the same price as a nice Airbnb.