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Venture Capital Travel

Airbnb Leads $80M Investment in Startup That Manages Apartments Like Hotels

Airbnb keeps getting closer with professional hospitality operators. Lyric, a San Francisco-based startup that manages urban apartments like hotels, announced a deal that we told you about in December. Airbnb is leading a roughly $80 million round, which also includes an equal amount of debt, and participation from other equity investors such as real estate firms Tishman Speyer and RXR Realty. Lyric is smaller than some of the other startups in this sector, like Sonder and Stay Alfred, but may give Airbnb a closer look at this growing sector. A growing share of the homes in Airbnb’s supply are run as full-time rentals, we reported last year.

Lyric makes money from rental arbitrage a la WeWork—leasing units from some apartment landlords and renting them on a short-term basis through sites like Airbnb—or it signs management deals with landlords. It projected it would manage more than 1,500 listings and generate about $51 million in revenue by the end of 2019, according to an investor pitch deck last summer viewed by The Information. The company says it complies with cities’ rules around short-term rentals.


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