Many companies walk the line between hotel and homestay, but Sonder is a little different because it leases, designs, furnishes, and maintains their apart-hotels. Founded in 2012, the company has hosted thousands of guests in its short-term rental network, pulling in $100 million in revenue in 2018, and attracting venture capital to the tune of $135 million.
The company’s site is easy to use: Bookings are instantly confirmed, there’s mobile check-in, and it has 24/7 concierge and security. If something does go awry—or guests just need to know where the outlets are in the house—customers can engage with the company's concierge service by email, text, phone, or Facebook Messenger. What guests don’t see is Sonder’s proprietary technology—like the Aloha app, which is used by housekeeping teams—as well as interior design tools that allow Sonder to carefully curate location-specific art and furniture that fits each space perfectly.
Sonder currently operates in 18 cities, mostly in the U.S., but also in Rome, Montreal, and Vancouver. In each city, Sonder works with local government, only operating only within commercial and mixed-use zones and leasing entire floors of buildings to minimize intrusion and impact on established residential neighborhoods.