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08 March, 2011

Enter the 'unhotel'

onefinestay, the world’s first unhotel, today announced a $3.7 million Series A funding from venture capital firm Index Ventures. The funding round also includes participation from PROfounders Capital and leading influencers from the travel and hospitality world, including Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com; Andy Phillipps, co-founder of Active Hotels; Jonathan Eilian, a founding investor in Starwood Hotels; and David Magliano, former Director of Marketing for London 2012. Index Ventures partner Robin Klein will take a seat on the board. The funding will be used to scale up the company’s London operations and expand internationally.

onefinestay redefines the experience of visiting London: live like a local by staying in a distinctive home while the owner is out of town, with all the convenience and comfort of a hotel. On www.onefinestay.com choose from more than 50 actual homes in London’s best neighbourhoods. Guests enjoy luxury amenities like 5* linens and toiletries from the White Company, along with room service from local restaurants. Every guest is lent an iPhone for free local calls which is also stocked with local tips and videos recorded by the home’s owner. Members—people with distinctive homes in London—benefit by earning income from a house or flat which would otherwise sit vacant, without the risk or hassle associated with alternatives like holiday rental or short letting.

Inspired by the boom in home exchanging, the phenomenon of couch surfing, and the growth in boutique hotels, onefinestay was founded in 2009 by serial entrepreneurs Greg Marsh, Demetrios Zoppos and Tim Davey, who between them have property management, logistics, investment and technology experience.

Since its initial launch just six months ago, onefinestay has grown rapidly to manage more than 50 upscale homes across central London. Prices range from £150 a night for a comfortable one bedroom apartment in Marylebone W1, to £1,000 a night for a grand townhouse in South Kensington. Other distinctive options on www.onefinestay.com include a pied-a-terre in aristocratic Mayfair, a family home in elegant Holland Park, a bachelor pad in leafy Primrose Hill, a houseboat on the River Thames and a converted Victorian church in trendy Islington.

onefinestay founder Greg Marsh said, “We’re excited to welcome such outstanding investors to the company and have already started working closely with them to define and execute our growth strategy and geographic expansion. On a personal note, I’m particularly pleased to add Robin Klein to our board as his extensive retail and investment experience will prove invaluable. ”

Robin Klein, board member and partner at Index Ventures, said, “onefinestay is an extremely exciting business with an exceptional founding team that has the potential to define an entirely new category of accommodation. We are very proud to lead the investment round.”

Brent Hoberman, investor and formerly co-founder & CEO of Lastminute.com, said, “onefinestay is pioneering a genuine innovation in travel accommodation. I’m thrilled to be involved with a disruptive business like this one which has the potential to redefine the landscape of travel.”​​

Index Ventures is a venture capital firm, founded in 1996, that partners with entrepreneurs in the technology, biotech and clean tech industries. The team is based in Geneva, London, and Jersey and will open a Silicon Valley office in the Fall of 2011. Index works closely with companies at all stages to build disruptive technologies into market defining global leaders. The firm is currently investing from the Index Ventures Seed Fund (2010), Index Ventures fund V (€350 million, 2009) and the Index Ventures Growth I fund (€400 million, 2008). Successful exits from the technology portfolio include Lovefilm (acquired by Amazon), Betfair (LSE : BET.L), Playfish (acquired by Electronic Arts), MySQL (acquired by Sun), Last.fm (acquired by CBS) and Skype (acquired by eBay). Index’s current investments include Adconion, AlertMe, ASOS, Criteo, Boku, Etsy, Factual, Flipboard, GroupSpaces, Mimecast, MOO, Moshi Monsters, Ozon.ru, Rightscale, Sonos, Privalia, Rightscale, Trialpay and viagogo.
For more information, please visit www.indexventures.com or follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/indexventures.


Press contacts

Tiffany Philippou

+44 770 222 1905 

Press kit and other information online at http://onefinestay.com/press-kit 
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