Venture

Airbnb’s Latest Investment Is In Zeus, Its Home Turf Competition

Ahead of their public debut in 2020, Airbnb has doled out some of its own cash in a close-to-focus investment: Zeus Living, a corporate housing upstart based in San Francisco.

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Today Zeus Living raised a $55 million Series B, in a round chock full of investors including the aforementioned Airbnb, Comcast. Previous investors including Alumni Ventures Group, Initialized Capital, NFX, and Spike Ventures.

The startup offers over 2,000 fully furnished homes across a handful of cities for business people that need extended stays. It has raised $79.1 million in total venture capital to date, according to Crunchbase data.

When I chatted with Zeus’ CEO Kulveer Taggar in September, he told me that the inspiration for the company came from an understanding that real estate has largely been untouched by tech. He added that 25 percent of the company’s revenue comes from people who “live” with Zeus, or people who have lived in a Zeus site for more than six months.

Zeus poses as a competitor to one of Airbnb’s more recent offerings: Airbnb for Work. It makes sense that the travel behemoth is keeping its San Francisco competition close.

In a release, David Holyoke, global head of Airbnb For Work, said that extended-stay and solutions for relocation “remains a key focus for Airbnb.” He added that “Zeus Living delivers an exceptional guest experience at affordable prices in key cities, and we are excited to invest in them to accelerate their growth.”

When Zeus last raised in March, Taggar explained that the company’s focus on traditional corporate housing was succeeding in the long term, while Airbnb was only zeroing in on short term.

“Airbnb isn’t well suited [for multi-month stays], ” Taggar told TechCrunch. “We’re about half the price of traditional corporate housing for a better product and a better experience.”

For more on Airbnb’s appetite as a corporate investor, check out Jason’s piece on when the venture-backed becomes the venture backer.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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