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Loft launches into new markets with Uotel acquisition

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – One Brazilian unicorn looks to be branching out into new markets. Last Wednesday (8) news broke through NeoFeed that proptech Loft acquired hospitality and property rental startup Uotel in a part cash, part stock transaction.

However, specifics on amounts weren’t disclosed.

Consequently, Uotel’s founders will now join the proptech’s team.

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Temp stays are all the rage

Uotel offers a platform for subleasing studios and apartments for short periods of time.

Residents benefit from properties that are strategically located and in good condition. The icing on the cake is that Uotel offers the amenities on any Millenial’s wish list like gym services and an entirely online leasing process.

The startup had been looking to raise equity to scale when it ran into Loft.

This deal is the proptech’s third acquisition. In November of 2019, it absorbed Decorati, a remodeling company. Then in February of this year, it bought Spry, a market research company.

However what makes its most recent purchase an interesting one is how it may be a strategic move by Loft to subtly launch into the travel industry as well as debut into the property rental market.

Travel and stay with Loft?

Traditional hotels have seen better days—even before the coronavirus outbreak. 

For years now competition within the hospitality sector grew hot and highly digitized with travel platforms like Airbnb. But now a new model is emerging that may change how we vacation for years to come and further put hotels in hot water.

Why it’s a big deal: The travel industry appears to be embracing a new trend: longer stays. As companies further embrace remote work, employees realize they can extend their vacations.

But instead of footing a hefty hotel bill, they’ll opt to rent a property and benefit from basic accommodations like kitchenettes and an internet connection to keep working and vacationing. 

The most illustrative example of this was Airbnb’s announcement last April that it would enable its platform to allow for monthly stays.

So it would appear Loft is jumping onto this trend with its acquisition of Uotel. Perhaps it won’t leave a chocolate on your pillow like your run-of-the-mill hotel, but it does offer Netflix.

Moreover, a flexible sub-leasing model also suits many people who have ever-shifting lifestyles and don’t want to be tied down by a long rental agreement or a mortgage.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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