Skift Take

The technology-focused hospitality company is feeling upbeat on future growth, as occupancy moves in the right direction, but its touted "stellar" results follow a quiet first quarter.

Travel startup Sonder has revised its full-year revenue outlook upwards off the back of record revenue for its second quarter, but losses widened by $8 million compared to the previous quarter.

San Francisco-based Sonder offers travel lodging through a mix of traditional hotels and short-term rentals in apartment buildings.

The travel startup, which still plans a merger with a special purpose acquisition company later this year, posted revenue of $47.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2021— its highest single quarter revenue to date. That figure was up 50 percent on the 2021 first quarter, and 151 percent year-on-year.

Revenue per available room reached $100, up 30 percent on the first quarter this year, and 112 percent on the 2020 second quarter.

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As a result, Sonder raised its 2021 revenue outlook to between $180 million and $190 million, compared to an initial outlook of $173 million.

“This increase from our initial outlook reflects Sonder’s belief that the recent surge in leisure travel recovery is sustainable and our proven ability to capitalize on this demand for better stays at an exceptional value,” said Sanjay Banker, president and chief financial officer.

However, the company reported up a loss of $54.6 million for its second quarter, on an adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] basis.

This compares to a $46.5 million loss in the previous year, according to its investor presentation. For the full year, Sonder reaffirmed its outlook for an adjusted EBITDA loss of $257 million.

Digital Nomadism

Sonder is meanwhile gearing up for a continued recovery by adding more rooms, and by making its properties more business friendly. Its portfolio continues to expand, and it opened a property in Amsterdam, marking its seventh city in Europe. It aims to operate a total of more than 18,000 units by the end of year.

Its occupancy rate also nudged up to 68 percent, from 66 percent in the first quarter.

Sonder also wants to tap into the growing market of digital nomads. Six in 10 Americans are interested in being a digital nomad, or working remotely on a long-term trip, according to a survey it conducted with Ipsos.

“The inspired, tech-enabled design, consistent quality and compelling value that are hallmarks of the Sonder brand also position us to serve emerging travel trends such as long-term stays and digital nomadism,” said Francis Davidson, co-founder and CEO.

Davidson also hailed this quarter’s results as “stellar,” but the company’s claim it is revolutionizing hospitality will take a while longer to prove amid the jagged recovery.

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Tags: sonder, spac

Photo credit: Sonder aims to operate a total of more than 18,000 units by the end of year. Sonder

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