InvestmentsReal Estate

WhyHotel nets $3.94M in seed funding, expands to Baltimore

Startup runs temporary hotels in apartments with unleased units, aims to de-risk lease-up for developers

Alternative lodging service WhyHotel announced it raised $3.94 million in its seed funding round and is expanding its presence to Baltimore.

The funding round saw the company gain investors from Camber Creek, Revolutions Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Mendacre, MetaProp, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Working Lab Capital, Mitchell Shear and a number of other entities.

WhyHotel sets up shop in luxury apartments with 100 or more unleased units and creates a full-service hotel within the property using those unleased units. The hotels are temporary, and as lease-up continues, WhyHotel gradually minimizes its presence in the host apartment community, ultimately leaving altogether once lease-up is complete.

"WhyHotel allows multifamily developers to de-risk the lease-up phase of brand new luxury apartments. This new revenue stream, amenity for residents, and guest offering is a paradigm shift for the multifamily industry," Camber Creek Founder and Managing Director Casey Berman said in a statement.

Camber Creek is WhyHotel’s primary investor, and its investment portfolio includes a number of real estate technology companies including Latch, VTS, Measurabl and Bowery.

WhyHotel got its start incubating under the roof of Vornado Realty Trust, a publicly traded multifamily REIT, and after a strong showing at The Bartlett, a multifamily property in D.C., the young company is expanding into Baltimore with a temporary hotel at 225 North Calvert Street, a new high-rise apartment community owned by Monument Realty.

"We are excited to host WhyHotel's first pop-hotel in Baltimore. This sophisticated hotel concept will be a favorable amenity for our residents, offering convenient and affordable accommodations for their friends and family. No other apartment community in Baltimore provides residents and guests with a like-home hotel experience," Monument Realty Principal Michael Darby said in a statement.

"At WhyHotel, we offer fully furnished apartments that combine the luxuries of home, the services of a hotel, and the amenities of a newly built apartment building," WhyHotel President and Co-founder Bao Vuong said in a statement.

"Our brand specializes in creating fresh experiences. Not only are the units and amenities gorgeous and new, but the experience is how modern hospitality should be. From ordering fresh towels from our Alexa-enabled rooms, to the ability to cast any device onto each rooms TV, we are constantly working to create an unmatched experience for our guests."

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