Stay One Degree, a social network for luxury holiday home rentals, has raised $1.5m in Seed funding.
Publicly launched in December last year, the Hong Kong and UK-based company claims to have members in more than 50 countries.
The company has received backing from blue-chip investors in Asia and the UK including Ronald Arculli, former chairman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing; and a former member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong.
Thomas Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Stay One Degree, told UKTN why he’d decided to base the company in the UK:
“The Stay One Degree team is global however the majority of our team are based in London and Hong Kong. These are markets that Jorge and I are very familiar with having lived in both locations. They also present the perfect member demographic for Stay One Degree, with large communities of high income, connected people that travel frequently. From here we have now grown to have members in over 50 countries.”
Stay One Degree enables consumers to rent directly from their friends, mutual connections and like-minded members within an exclusive member’s community.
Bennett added: “We are pleased and proud to have closed this funding round and to have the support and deep knowledge and experience of our shareholders. We collectively share the same vision for the luxury holiday home rental market and their investment will allow us to reach our ambitious goals and provide trusted homes and access to unique experiences for our members all over the world.”
“We are delighted to become shareholders of Stay One Degree,” said Arculli, an existing investor.
“The company offers an entirely unique business model that provides a trusted platform for members to rent luxury homes. We believe that Stay One Degree with its passionate management team is ideally positioned to capture the huge growth in the luxury home rental market and evolution of the sharing economy,” he added.
Hong Kong-based Emma Sherrard Matthew, executive chairman, also invested.
“With family and leisure time so precious, it is only natural for people to seek a trusted solution that provides direct access to special homes that they can be confident they will enjoy. With members also having access to preferential ‘friendly’ rates and local insider knowledge from their network connections, Stay One Degree addresses all the requirements of the modern luxury traveller,” she added.
Other investors include Andrew Griffith, the chairman and non-executive director of Just Eat plc; and Alex Ham and Ross Mitchinson, Co-CEOs of Numis Securities Limited.
Co-founder Jorge Munoz concluded: “Stay One Degree is changing the way people rent luxury holiday homes by allowing them to rent directly to and from their trusted connections.
“Home owners who would never have considered renting their homes are now doing so within our trusted network, whilst our members are gaining access to exclusive homes and unique experiences only possible when renting from a mutual connection. This investment will allow us to respond to the incredibly positive reaction we have had from our members since we launched and accelerate the growth of our network.”