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June 21, 2017
Today is a big day for the Pillow team.
First, we’re announcing that we’ve raised money to help grow our business. Our series A is $13.5 million, led by Mayfield with participation from Sterling Equity, Peak Capital Partners, Expansion VC, Chris Anderson (Curator of TED Talks), Gary Vaynerchuck, and Dennis Phelps, with additional involvement from Veritas Investments.
At the same time, we’re also launching something completely new – Pillow Residential; a short-term rental management platform for multifamily buildings.
Pillow Residential gives apartment complex owners the ability to easily enable short-term rentals in entire buildings and entire portfolios. Our platform provides automated online payments, monitoring, and controls – all in one digital solution.
“We are thrilled to be working with investors with deep technology roots along with strong strategic investors with 100 thousand housing units in their portfolio,” said Sean Conway, Pillow’s CEO. “As we launch Pillow Residential, we’re confident we can achieve our vision of enabling travel for more and more people through short-term rentals.”
Residents in apartment complexes want the option to offer their homes as short-term rentals using services like VRBO, Booking.com, HomeAway, and Airbnb.
Over 60 million guests stayed in short-term rentals last year, and half of them were in apartment complexes. In fact, 66% of short-term rental listings in urban areas are in these buildings. Unfortunately, many if not most of these rentals are in violation of their building lease or HOA rules.
Without a centralized way to monitor them, short-term rentals can be a landmine for owners of apartment complexes as they don’t have insight into what units are being rented – and to whom. There are also complications of increasing regulations, licenses, and taxes. Owners don’t want to be in a position to police short-term rentals, but until now there hasn’t been a clear way to embrace and enable them within their properties.
Pillow Residential is an automated, turnkey platform for apartment complex owners and residents to manage short-term rentals. Building owners partner with Pillow Residential to offer short-term rentals as an amenity for residents within their buildings.
Pillow Residential provides transparency and control over short-term rental services for an entire building – from managing occupancy rates to knowing which units are being rented out at what times. They can now offer a safety assurance to their building communities, with owner access to guest profiles and resident access to background checked-cleaning vendors. The service also gives them a way to offer a high-value perk to potential renters, giving owners a competitive edge.
Finally, they can use Pillow Residential to manage and monetize their own unoccupied inventory. Short term rentals become a source of income: owners will take a 5-20% revenue share on each listing, and Pillow automates the payments.
Pillow Residential allows them to rent out their units worry-free.
Residents can easily set up and manage listings across multiple sites, such as VRBO, Booking.com, HomeAway, and Airbnb, from building templates to photography. They have access to a suite of services, from automated building access and automated listing creation to cleaning and turnover service.
Perhaps most importantly, Pillow Residential allows them to generate income: the average user earns 10% of their rent back each year.
We are working with owners such as Marian Group, Virtu Investments, and Peak Residential. Pillow Residential already has 4,000 units enrolled in San Francisco, Oakland, Denver, Eugene, Salt Lake City, Louisville, and Albuquerque.
In San Francisco, we partner with Veritas Investments. Veritas manages nearly $2 billion in real estate assets in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including nearly 200 apartment buildings in the city of San Francisco alone, on behalf of institutional and individual investors.
“At Veritas, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve and offering the best amenities and services to the residents of our buildings,” said, Yat-Pang Au, CEO, Veritas.