Graphic courtesy of The Hustle

Focus on Travel… and Business… and Real Estate…

From The Hustle

“Full stack” is typically used to describe a software engineer who can do everything (e.g., back end, front end).

Now the term has made its way into the real estate industry… thanks to Cosi, a Berlin-based short-term rental startup. The company offers 1+ month stays (“midstays”) in furnished apartments equipped with the latest in smart-home technology.

Less than 2 years after their pre-launch seed round, TechCrunch reports that Cosi has raised a €20m (over $23m in US dollars) Series A led by Soravia, a leading European real estate group.

The pandemic has upended travel

But Cosi’s business doesn’t rely on vacationers or business travelers, instead catering to:

  • People relocating, many of whom need short-term housing while looking for permanent space.
  • People renovating their homes, who need a place to stay for 3 to 6 months.
  • Digital nomads, whose numbers are rising during the pandemic.
  • Travelers, who prefer apartments (for novelty and additional space).

With demand up from these groups, there’s also a boatload of space hanging around in unoccupied rental properties and empty offices (somewhat ironically, most of this real estate is not on boats).

Thriving, not just surviving

Similar to Airbnb, Cosi has found that 1- to 2-month rentals are a growing segment of travel.

Here are key stats for the startup:

  • 90% occupancy: For comparison, average hotel occupancy rates are in the mid-60s (this is a pre-pandemic stat).
  • It’s cash-flow positive: In comparison, Airbnb is still cash-flow negative.
  • 2k+ units: Cosi has signed long-term leases with 750 units that are ready to go (and another 1.5k units are in the pipeline).

Cosi CEO Christian Gaiser tells TechCrunch that “you can win big” in real estate even during a pandemic. True for stocks, and now apparently true for short-term housing.

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