Sonder Solidifies Unicorn Status With $170M Series E

by Jeremy Porr
June 25, 2020
Sonder provides guests with contactless check in services.
photo: Sonder

San Francisco-based hospitality startup Sonder announced it closed on a $170 million Series E financing round on Thursday. The round solidifies the startup’s unicorn status with a total valuation of $1.3 billion, and was led by Fidelity, WestCap Group and Inovia Capital.

Sonder provides digitally serviced, contactless hotel stays for guests in 36 cities across the world. Sonder’s living spaces feature fully equipped kitchens, professional cleaning and private laundry.

According to the company, Sonder experienced a higher-than-average occupancy rate during the height of the pandemic. In late March, the company began extending stay periods for guests in need of housing in addition to providing full refunds for guests that canceled travel plans.

“The pandemic has given rise to an urgent need for temporary shelter, including travelers who are stranded, students without housing, or emergency personnel such as doctors and nurses,” the company said in a blog post at the time.

According to the company, Sonder’s global occupancy rate for its properties has consistently remained at 75 percent.

“While we expect the recovery from the pandemic to be long and difficult, with this latest round of funding, [we’re] well-positioned to help lead a re-invention of the travel industry in the months and years ahead,” the company said in a statement.

Although the company began offering contactless guest check-in service long before the arrival of COVID-19, the feature may now be considered invaluable for those that choose to prioritize social distancing when traveling.

“This is validation of the progress we’ve made on the strategies we outlined at the outset of the pandemic to ensure Sonder would survive the crisis and emerge a stronger company,” the company said in a statement. “Our work has only just begun, but we are optimistic about what the future holds for Sonder, our guests and the future of travel.”

Sonder, founded in 2012, has raised $529.6 million in venture capital to date, according to Crunchbase.

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