WhyHotel secures $3.94m. in seed funding and expands to Baltimore
WASHINGTON - WhyHotel, an alternative lodging service that operates pop-up hotels in newly built, luxury apartment buildings, announced it has secured $3.9 million in seed funding. Led by Camber Creek, with participation from Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Mendacre, MetaProp, Vornado/Charles E. Smith (predecessor to JBG SMITH Properties), Working Lab Capital, Mitchell Schear, and other real estate executives, WhyHotel will use the funds to launch hotels in the pipeline as well as source top talent for upcoming projects across major U.S. cities. After a highly successful run at The Bartlett in D.C. and in conjunction with the new funding round, WhyHotel has launched its newest pop-up venture in Baltimore's Downtown/Inner Harbor area. In partnership with Monument Realty, the 150+ unit property is located at 225 North Calvert Street, a brand new high-rise apartment community.
"WhyHotel allows multifamily developers to de-risk the lease-up phase of brand new luxury apartments. This new revenue stream, amenity for residents, and guest offering is a paradigm shift for the multifamily industry," says Casey Berman, Founder and Managing Director of Camber Creek. Camber Creek's investment portfolio includes some of the world's fastest growing real estate technology companies including Latch, VTS, Measurabl, and Bowery.
Originally incubated at a large publicly traded REIT, WhyHotel operates 100+ room pop-up hotels in new, multifamily apartments during lease-up. The company takes units that have yet to be leased when a large high-rise apartment building completes construction and adds a modern hospitality service to turn the building's inherent vacancy into a temporary, 24/7 on-site staffed luxury hotel. WhyHotel scales its unit count with the building's natural delivery and leasing pace, gradually winding down its footprint as units are leased to long-term residents, and ultimately exiting altogether once all units are leased.
"At WhyHotel, we offer fully furnished apartments that combine the luxuries of home, the services of a hotel, and the amenities of a newly built apartment building," says Bao Vuong, President and Co-founder of WhyHotel. "Our brand specializes in creating fresh experiences. Not only are the units and amenities gorgeous and new, but the experience is how modern hospitality should be. From ordering fresh towels from our Alexa-enabled rooms, to the ability to cast any device onto each rooms TV, we are constantly working to create an unmatched experience for our guests."
With an eye on the resident experience, WhyHotel offers long-term renters in the building the benefit of an on-site hotel to host their friends and family at rates that are half the price of booking with a traditional hotel. The WhyHotel experience is supported by round-the-clock, on-site hospitality staff, freeing up the building's property management team to focus on the long-term residents and leasing up the building.
Currently in lease-up, 225 North Calvert Street offers a tremendous location, beautiful design, cityscape views and impressive amenities. According toMichael Darby, Principal of Monument Realty, "We are excited to host WhyHotel's first pop-hotel in Baltimore. This sophisticated hotel concept will be a favorable amenity for our residents, offering convenient and affordable accommodations for their friends and family. No other apartment community in Baltimore provides residents and guests with a like-home hotel experience."
Boasting an eye-catching facade with a custom mural, the stunning apartments feature private balconies with unrivaled amenities from parking to lobby to rooftop. The Baltimore pop-up hotel will offer pet-friendly, 1- to 2-bedroom apartments. Pricing for a night's stay at the pop-up hotel will range depending on travel dates and room size.