Skift Take

Startups like Sweet Inn increasingly blur the lines between the hotel and Airbnb business models by offering hotel-style service in short-term rentals that they own and manage. We predict that it won't be long until a major hotel group tries the same trick.

Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. The total raised this week was $39 million.

>>Sweet Inn, which has apartments in Europe and Israel that it manages and provides hotel-style amenities for, has received a fund-raising round of $22 million in investment.

QUMRA Capital led the investment. Venture capital funds BRM, La Maison, and M.I.3 also participated in the round.

The French-Israeli start-up debuted three years ago. It now rents out 350 apartments in popular European and Israeli tourist destinations, such as Barcelona and Tel Aviv.

Unlike AccorHotels-owned serviced rental brand OneFineStay, this company leases the properties it rents out. Leasing enables more consistent quality control, says the startup.

While there are other players in serviced apartments, most of those focus on corporate extended stay residences. Sweet Inn is competing primarily in the leisure travel market.

Its 150 employees work to deliver hotel-style services, such as laundry and in-room breakfast. The company says it only chooses properties in buildings that have front-door security and amenities like storage rooms for stowing luggage.

The company doesn’t disclose revenue. It plans to use the funds to add yield-management software and to create a loyalty program, says chief executive Paul Besnainou.

The startup is not alone in trying the model.

In January, Spokane, Wash.-based startup Stay Alfred raised $15 million in a Series A for a similar concept.

On the face of it, the premise of Sweet Inn seems like the worst of hotels (such as having to pay fixed costs for upkeep on spaces that may sometimes go vacant) and the worst of short-term rentals (such as being at a disadvantage in relation to upscale hotels when it comes to having economies of scale in customer service).

But clearly, investors in Sweet Inn and Stay Alfred disagree.

>>Tiqets, an Amsterdam-based travel tech startup, has landed a $17 million investment round. HPE Growth Capital led the funding round.

As we reported earlier this week, this Dutch startup is growing by focusing on the problem of mobile ticketing for attractions like museums and solving it with a product that it says requires almost no technical savvy from museums and other attraction operators.

Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here.

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Tags: funding, tiqets, vcroundup

Photo credit: A serviced apartment on the Plaza España Fira II in central Barcelona shows the kind of holiday lodging the startup Sweet Inn specializes in. Sweet Inn

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