Domicile raises $5M for business travel lodging from high-profile Seattle investors

Domicile CEO Ross Saario. (Domicile Photo)

Seattle startup Domicile raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by L.A. investment firm CrossCut Ventures. Big names in the Seattle tech world also participated in the round. Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, Amazon consumer CEO Jeff Wilke, and other angels invested, as well as Madrona Venture Group.

The seed round includes $3.6 million in new funding, on top of $1.4 million in convertible notes. Domicile has raised a total of $5 million to date.

Domicile caters to business travelers with lodging somewhere between a hotel and an Airbnb. The company’s model is to rent out luxury apartments in close proximity to the business districts in cities. Each rental is outfitted with amenities like a hotel.

One of Domicile’s Seattle apartments. (Domicile Photo)

The startup launched in Seattle in 2016 as a spin out of Madrona Venture Labs. Since then, Domicile has doubled down on business travel, marketing directly to employers rather than targeting travelers themselves.

“Our vision is to be the end-to-end hospitality provider for businesses of all sizes,” said Domicile CEO Ross Saario.

It’s a model that Wilke and Rascoff, two of the biggest names in Seattle tech, find promising.

“Both believe that the hospitality industry is ripe for disruption, especially for business travel,” Saario said. “Corporate travel has been done the same way for a long time, and it’s time for a fresh infusion of technology and a new approach to provide both a better customer experience and lower costs.”

With the new funding, Domicile plans to expand to two new cities in the next 6-8 months. In Seattle, its first market, Domicile caters to business and tech workers, locating near big companies, like Amazon.

Domicile doesn’t buy its buildings. Instead, the company leases them and furnishes the units with a consistent aesthetic.

Before launching Domicile, Saario was a general manager at Amazon, where he oversaw several programs, including Amazon Lockers and Last Mile Delivery. His co-founder Simon Tam previously worked for Expedia and Bag Borrow or Steal.

Source: GeekWire Startup

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