Business Startups Venture

Blueground Raises $20M for Tech-Rich Rentals

New York-based Blueground, a tech-equipped apartment rental company, has raised $20 million in a round led by VentureFriends, an Athens-based VC.

Other investors in the round, which takes the company’s total funding to $27.4 million, include Endeavor Catalyst, and Dubai-based Jabbar Internet Group. New York City-based entrepreneur and Business Insider Founder Kevin Ryan also participated in the round, and will join the company’s board.

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Founded in Europe in 2013, Blueground formally launched in the U.S. last summer. The company has a unique strategy. It leases apartments and then upgrades, and fully furnishes them, making them available for renters looking for “turnkey” rentals. The company typically leases apartments before they hit the market, with a goal of holding them for many years. It leases them to “vetted” renters for 30 days or longer.

Blueground has partnered with a number of New York property owners and management companies. Its 250 New York properties can be found in areas such as Chelsea, Midtown West, Tribeca, SoHo, West Village, and the Financial District. 

Other than NYC, Blueground also has apartments in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dubai, Istanbul and Athens. The company now hosts 1,800 listings in nine cities across three continents and has seen its sales triple over the past three years. It currently has 280 employees, according to its press release.

Blueground hopes to fill hospitality gaps by offering flexible housing options, it told TechCrunch. It caters to business travelers and remote workers primarily. In addition to offering WiFi, blueground equips its rentals with smart TVs, “high-end gadgets” and guest support through a Blueground app.

“Blueground provides a product that speaks to a human need in an increasingly mobile business world,” Ryan said in a statement. “The team has a clear vision of where they want to go, in a market with significant growth potential.”

Alex Chatzieleftheriou, CEO and co-founder of Blueground, said the fresh capital infusion will help the company toward its goal of leasing 50,000 apartments globally by 2023.

“Renting an apartment can be a tedious and time-consuming process. You need to deal with a number of frustrating activities, from filling out paperwork to furnishing the apartment,” he said in a written statement. “With Blueground, the renting experience becomes efficient, streamlined, and seamless. And for business guests, we’re providing a more spacious, lower cost alternative to a hotel”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

This story was updated post-publication to include information provided by the company.

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