Stay One Degree raises US$1.5 million in funding
Stay One Degree – The first social network for luxury holiday home rentals – announces the closing of its seed round of investment, raising US$1.5 million and tripling their funding target. Stay One Degree allows discerning global travellers looking for first-class home from home experiences to rent directly from their friends, mutual connections and like-minded members within an exclusive member’s community. Guests gain access to preferential pricing, the best local knowledge and exclusive member perks whilst home owners can rent to their circle of trust with full confidence that their home is in safe hands.
Publicly launched in December 2017, the Hong Kong and UK based company has quickly grown to have members in over 50 countries. The company has received global backing from key 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, as well as his children, Derek, Kim and Max.
Thomas Bennett, co-founder, says, “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,” says Ronald Arculli. “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.”
Another key shareholder is Singapore-born, Hong Kong-based Emma Sherrard Matthew, Executive Chairman – Asia Pacific, Quintessentially. Having run Asia Pacific operations for Quintessentially Group as CEO, Sherrard Matthew has a deep understanding of the luxury lifestyle industry.
On personally investing in Stay One Degree, she says, “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.”
In addition to co-founders Thomas Bennett and Jorge Munoz, the Arculli family, and Emma Sherrard Matthew, the company is also backed by a strong network of investors in the UK including Andrew Griffith, the Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Just Eat plc and Alex Ham and Ross Mitchinson, Co-CEOs of Numis Securities Limited. The personal investment from industry veterans signal the confidence in this fast-growing start-up.
Co-founder, Jorge Munoz adds, “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.”