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No One Is Ready to Go Home

No One Is Ready to Go Home
September 3 2020

Living in hotels is by no means a new idea; a handful of storied properties in New York and Los Angeles have hosted actors, artists, and other bon vivants for long-term stays over the decades. The idea had a resurgence at the pandemic’s start, when stranded vacationers tried to ride out quarantines wherever they’d taken spring breaks.

Now the idea has caught on. It is providing a lifeline to the hotel industry. It works for the guests as well- many luxury hotels that would never do discount deals are now more than willing to lower their price to keep afloat, up to 50% off isn't rare currently for long-term stay in luxury hotels. Ordinary people now can have a taste of the lifestyle once only available to the super-rich and celebrities. 

With work-(and school)-from-home mandates stretching into the foreseeable future, many Americans are finding themselves untethered to their primary residences. They are interested in multimonth hotel bookings that could stylishly bypass a cold-weather span of locked-down living. 

People are willing to pay for the protection, comfort, and convenience of a hotel, instead of a vacation home. And after the stress of lockdown of the last six months, the idea is as attractive as any.  


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Luxury hotel turned homes:

Auberge Resorts, which owns 19 hotels around the world, including the newly renovated Mayflower Inn & Spa in Connecticut and the adventure-centric Madeline Hotel in Telluride, Colo. A two-month booking at those hotels can come with a 30% to 40% discount on the nightly rate, along with private tutoring services for kids. Some package deals include personally stocked in-room kitchenettes, pet care, and laundry. The chain has experienced a 300% increase in the length of guests’ stays.

Four Seasons Hotels Limited is an international luxury hotel and resort company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Four Seasons operates more than 100 hotels and resorts worldwide. Four Seasons operates luxury homes in addition to hotels. During the pandemic, Four Seasons offers 50% off of long-term stay for both types of residence. 

Gurney's Inn is a Long Island oceanfront resort, in Montauk, New York. U.S. President Richard Nixon wrote his acceptance speech at the Skippers Cottage at Gurney's Inn. The oceanfront resort includes a seawater pool and group accommodations for weddings, business meetings, and other events. It has always been the top choice for staycations. 

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
634 Companies | 74 M&A Deals289 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Verta, a Palo Alto, CA-based AI/ML model management and operations company, raised $10M in Series A funding. The round was led by Intel Capital with participation from General Catalyst. Led by Manasi Vartak, founder and CEO, Verta provides AI/ML model management and operations software for enterprise data science teams to manage inherently complex model-based products. Its production-ready systems help data science and IT operations teams to focus on their strengths and rapidly bring AI/ML advances to the market.

Minerva Knows, Inc., announces its first financing of $1.1M. The round was led by Charge Ventures and Max Ventures with participation from Sagehill Capital, Bayes Capital, New York Venture Partners, and Tribe Capital. The company was founded with a mission to rid the world of wasteful and time-consuming red arrows and page diagrams that are a poor reproduction of true customer support on software applications and platforms.

Synthego, which is developing a machine learning-based approach to engineering genomes, today closed a $100 million funding round. The startup says the funding will be put toward expanding the capabilities of its platforms designed to produce reagents and cells supporting basic research and clinical trials.

Sovos Brands, a food company backed by global private equity firm Advent International, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Birch Benders, LLC, a fast-growing producer of delicious, better-for-you Pancake and Waffle Mixes, Toaster Waffles, and Pancake and Baking Cups. The acquisition deepens Sovos Brands' role in the breakfast and snacking categories and represents a significant step in the company's mission to acquire and build one-of-a-kind brands that bring consumers delicious food for joyful living. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of October.

MelodyVR’s planned acquisition of streaming service Napster for $26.3m in cash and stock, and wondered why the company was describing it as a $70m deal. A separate announcement from Napster’s majority owner RealNetworks cleared that up: the deal also saw MelodyVR assuming “approximately $44m in payment obligations, primarily to various music industry entities”.

Outerwall, the automated kiosk operator that runs Redbox, Coinstar and ecoATM machines, has made a move into e-commerce with the acquisition of Gazelle – an online site that buys and sells pre-owned consumer electronics, including smartphones, tablets, desktop, and laptop computers. The company announced the deal in its most recent earnings, noting that Outerwall had agreed to buy “certain assets and liabilities” of Gazelle for $18 million in cash.

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