STAY OPEN, the Los Angeles-based startup transforming unused commercial space into pod hotels and co-living properties, has today announced the closing of its $2 million seed round funding. The round was led by a European family office which also invested in STAY OPEN’s inaugural San Diego project – the conversion of a Budget Rent a Car facility into a 240+ bed STAY OPEN hotel.
STAY OPEN, the “Sleep as a Service” platform founded by Steve Shpilsky, Andrew Swerdloff and Alex Morrise, aims to democratize how and where people sleep with its affordable, design-forward properties, while encouraging social connection. STAY OPEN’s social platform and app will help match podmates with similar interests, connect them before, during and after their stays, and curate organic experiences for guests and residents.
“We are grateful for the support of our investors who see the disruptive potential of STAY OPEN,” said Steve Shpilsky, CEO and co-founder. “The timing is perfect. Retail and office space sit empty as consumer and work habits evolve. STAY OPEN is uniquely poised to generate newfound income for real estate owners through revenue from daily hotel guests and monthly residents.”
STAY OPEN hotels and residences consist of private modular rooms each with 4 to 8 private sleeping pods, high-end shared restrooms, large common areas for work or play, food and beverage outlets, and locally-inspired amenities. Private rooms and family rooms with the option of private bathrooms are also available. Technology is used to streamline operations, enhance experiences, and connect guests and residents with local communities.
“The STAY OPEN team possesses the perfect blend of technology, real estate and operations backgrounds,” said Nuri Katz, founder of Apex Capital Partners and advisor to the family office. “We have known the co-founders for several years and are confident they can take ideas from concept to reality. Now is the perfect time to disrupt how and where people stay.”
The funding will enable the company to grow and scale STAY OPEN’s technology, brand and operations platform to develop pod hotels and residences that will appeal to tech-forward and open-minded users.
“Once the health crisis is contained, people will want flexible and affordable sleep options for travel and long-term stays in prime locations,” added Shpilsky. “There will be a global renaissance of people embracing community and social interaction. Every brick and mortar property has a DNA built by the energy of its guests, residents, and community. STAY OPEN will help communities and local businesses rebuild with that energy.”