Real estate and venture investor Henley has backed an Airbnb-style property-technology start-up firm’s initial fundraising round.
Lavanda, a short-term property rental platform, has secured a $5m (€4.5m) Series-A round led by Henley’s ventures arm, the companies said in a statement.
As part of Henley’s investment, Justin Meissel, Henley CIO and MD Europe, will join Lavanda’s board as a non-executive director alongside Harry Hill, the founder of online real estate portal Rightmove.
Lavanda enables institutional real estate portfolios to profit from homestays and home-sharing by providing a platform to execute short and medium-term rental strategies across both domestic and international portfolios.
The platform currently manages over 10,000 units and counts property managers like JLL, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Savills, LaSalle, Long Harbour and Europa Capital among its customers.
The company has partnered with over 35 management companies to date.
Guy Westlake, founder of Lavanda, said: “By providing landlords and developers with the missing technology toolkit to harness this global trend, Lavanda unlocks a new wave of innovation for residential real estate.
“Partnership with Henley and their investment into the business enables us to take a major step towards realising our vision; to become the de facto technology platform powering a compliant global short and medium-term rental ecosystem.”
Meissel said: “Lavanda legitimises and institutionalises short and medium-term rental options for commercial landlords, providing a best-in-class technological solution.
“As owners, operators and developers of over 10,000 residential units, Henley have first-hand exposure to the income uplift potential driven by Lavanda’s model. Henley Ventures is pleased to be supporting Lavanda and their top-notch team as their business goes global.”
Ian Rickwood, Henley CEO, said: “Our global investors are hungry for both a mix of stable income-producing real estate assets, but also participation in the best ideas from smart, fast-growing companies.
“The broadening of our platform provides them with that diversity but also with the comfort and security of a fully structured Henley vehicle. It also fits well with our mantra of ‘entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs’.”
The deal represents Henley’s sixth venture investment in the last 18 months.