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Life House Raises $40M To Develop Tech-Focused, Social Hotel Concept

A new entrant to the boutique hotel game, Life House, has completed $40M in funding to develop its brand. Of the funding, $10M in venture capital will fuel operations and the tech platform, while $30M in real estate capital will support the development of the first few properties in the U.S. 

Life House co-founders Rami Zeidan and Yury Yakubchyk

Life House hotels will be tech-driven, but also focus on the social aspects of staying at a hotel by offering some of the communal elements of a hostel with some of the amenities of a hotel, according to the company.

Life House will launch its first two hotels in Miami this fall, followed by a property in Brooklyn in early 2019. The properties will offer a selection of private and bunk-bed rooms, as well as communal spaces created through partnerships with local food and beverage operators, developed and designed to fit the characteristics of the neighborhood.

Life House plans to use customer information to match individuals with compatible roommates, and its tech platform will also feature a social network for travelers to meet each other before their arrival.

Life House will seek referrals by offering free trips and drinks, but also plans to acquire customers by leveraging data, according to Crunchbase.

“Nearly all hotel revenue is generated through online channels, but traditional hotels still structure and operate themselves like brick-and-mortar management businesses,” Life House CEO Rami Zeidan said. “We're applying the best practices from the e-commerce space to lifestyle branded hotels and have investors who believe in our technology.”

Zeidan, a veteran hotel and real estate executive, co-founded the company last year with Yury Yakubchyk, a tech specialist and serial entrepreneur. 

Global Founders Capital led the Series A round in February, and Comcast Ventures led the seed round last September, while Trinity Ventures also made a significant investment, for a total of $10M. Henley Investments led the real estate investment, and also participated in the venture rounds, putting in a total of $30M.

Life House structures its venture and real estate capital separately, allowing the venture-backed operating company to be asset-light. Life House said it not only operates hotels, but will create them for real estate owners who want to own lifestyle hotels but who feel underserved by institutional developers and operators. 

“The hotel and hostel space has been plagued by antiquated processes and technology," Global Founders Capital partner Ludwig Ensthaler said. "Rami and his team have the expertise to execute on this opportunity that has high barriers to entry.”