Property owners and managers have a new outlet if they’re looking to get their empty apartments rented out on a long-term basis: Blueground.
Blueground, which launched in the U.S. last year, is now ready to expand, thanks to $20 million in new funding. Blueground works with “prominent” landlords in the U.S. to turn apartment units into luxury-appointed rental units that are rented out to “vetted” renters for 30 days or longer.
So, not quite a short-term rental or a long-term rental. Call it a medium-term rental.
Here’s how Blueground works. The company works with property managers and owners, including Related Rentals, Stonehenge, UDR, and Pinnacle Living, to lease out apartment units before those units hit the market.
According to the company, it typically leases out several units per property, with plans to hold those units for several years. For the landlords, the value proposition is that they are provided with “steady cash flow and value-added financing solutions,” according to Blueground.
Once the leases are signed, Blueground supplies the apartment with “premium furnishings, high-speed WiFi, luxury linens, high-end gadgets and beautiful designs,” and rents the units out for at least 30 days at a time. According to the company, its users’ average stay is six months.
The company, which has a worldwide portfolio of more than 1,800 apartments in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dubai, Istanbul, and Athens, now plans to continue growing its business thanks to its new funding.
Alex Chatzieleftheriou, CEO and co-founder of Blueground, said the funding will help the company move towards its goal of leasing 50,000 apartments in the next five years.
“Renting an apartment can be a tedious and time-consuming process. You need to deal with a number of frustrating activities, from filling out paperwork to furnishing the apartment. With Blueground, the renting experience becomes efficient, streamlined, and seamless,” Chatzieleftheriou said.
“And for business guests, we’re providing a more spacious, lower cost alternative to a hotel,” Chatzieleftheriou continued. “This capital will move us closer to our goal of leasing 50,000 apartments globally within the next five years. It will also allow us to elevate the seamless experience we’re providing landlords and guests, while cultivating a work environment that attracts the best and brightest talent.”
According to Blueground, its latest funding round now equals $20 million includes the participation of New York City-based entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, who will also join the company’s board of directors. Ryan previously co-founded Business Insider and Gilt, among other companies.
“Blueground provides a product that speaks to a human need in an increasingly mobile business world,” Ryan said. “The team has a clear vision of where they want to go, in a market with significant growth potential. After meeting Alex and the team, I am convinced of the potential of Blueground and excited to be an investor and a member of the board.”
The latest funding brings Blueground’s total funding to $28 million, including participation from VentureFriends, Endeavor Catalyst, and Jabbar Internet Group.