Hospitality startup The Guild has built a business that sits somewhere in between a hotel and Airbnb. The Austin-based company converts floors in residential apartment and office buildings into mini-boutique hotels. Stay at one and you’ll get access to hotel perks like concierge services, in addition to at-home comforts like a full kitchen.
This business model has proven to be successful, and now the company has its eyes on expansion. The Guild just closed a $25 million funding round in order to launch in new markets. Right now The Guild is available in Austin, Dallas, Nashville, Denver, Miami and Cincinnati — with Boston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia on the way. The company aims to be in a dozen markets by the end of 2021.
This funding follows the company’s $8.5 million Series A from late 2018. It has raised a total of $38 million in funding to-date.
The new tech-enabled hospitality industry has boosted Airbnb and similar companies to multi-billion-dollar valuations with giant funding rounds. But while these companies are focused on growing rapidly, The Guild is more concerned with the experiences it creates.
“Great hospitality brands are defined by the quality of their guest experience and loyalty of their guests, rather than the number of locations,” Chip Conley, an investor and advisor for The Guild, said in a statement.
Conley is also the founder of Joie de Vivre and the former Global Head of Strategy and Hospitality for Airbnb.
He continued, “Relative to other startups in this emerging category, many of whom prioritize growth above all else, The Guild has an intimate understanding of its guests and is obsessed with all those personalized details that make the experience delightful.”
The Guild specializes in serving business travelers, and partners with Fortune 1000 companies to secure special nightly rates. The Guild’s co-founders Brian Carrico and Chris Herndon came up with the idea for the company because of their own experiences with business travel.
“As recovering road warriors who used to stay in chain hotels over 50 nights per year, we’ve experienced firsthand how business travel can deplete the soul,” the duo said in a statement. “We started The Guild so that travelers could maintain the cherished routines of home while immersing themselves in the surrounding local community. These new funds will enable us to extend The Guild experience to a broader community of business travelers in search of a better life on the road.”
The new funding will also help the company build technology to help personalize the guest experience.
Right now The Guild manages 800 properties across six cities and employs over 170 people.