(June 7, 2017) San Francisco, CA
misterb&b, the largest gay hotelier in the world with 100,000 hosts in 135 countries, has closed a $8.5 million Series A funding round led by Berlin-based VC Project A and primarily France based VC Ventech. With the new funding push, misterb&b plans to expand its global operations, and to continue on the path to becoming the central platform for gay travel.
The idea for starting misterb&b was first conceived in 2013 after founder Matthieu Jost had a negative experience while traveling with his partner and didn’t feel welcome by his host. This was when he started to follow his vision of contributing to building a world where members of the LGBTQA community can travel safely and comfortably at an affordable price and bond with like-minded travellers within the community. The goal is to make misterb&b the global LGBTQA platform for traveling, connecting in real life and feeling welcome everywhere.
“While the sharing economy for short-term rentals has increased, it has been difficult for gay hosts and travellers to feel secure and welcome”, says misterb&b CEO Matthieu Jost. “We look forward to expanding our services backed by two strong investors, so even more members of the LGBTQA community can connect globally and feel safe and welcome anywhere they travel.”
misterb&b is a response to strong demands for collaborative tourism in the booming niche of global gay tourism, a $100B market. The gay market is also a premium segment, traveling twice as much as other travellers.
“With great dedication and a strong vision, the misterb&b founders have built an impressive platform in a very attractive global market”, says Anton Waitz, General Partner at Project A, who will be taking a seat on misterb&b’s board of directors. “We are excited to have misterb&b as the first company with roots in France joining our portfolio, and are looking forward to supporting them with our team of 100 operational experts.”
Jean Bourcereau, managing partner at Ventech, who will also be joining misterb&b’s board of directors, says: “The online travel industry is already generating massive business worldwide and innovation keeps on thriving in this sector. misterb&b’s early commercial traction and tremendous growth over the past two years have proven the huge value of their differentiated offer for both hosts and guests.”
Founded in 2014 by Matthieu Jost, Marc Dedonder, François de Landes and Chris Sinton, misterb&b is the world’s largest marketplace connecting like-minded travellers and hosts in the LGBT community. They are able to list, discover and book welcoming accommodations worldwide with 100,000 hosts in over 135 countries. misterb&b will further pursue its global approach to bringing gay men and women together in real-life experiences while expanding its operations in Paris, Los Angeles and Lima. misterb&b’s free app is available on iOS, Android and the web.
About Project A
Project A is an operational VC that provides its ventures with capital, an extensive network and exclusive access to a wide range of operational expertise. The Berlin-based investor makes use of the €260M in assets under its management to back early-stage companies in the digital technology space. With its unique organizational structure featuring 100 operational experts, Project A offers its portfolio companies hands-on support in the areas of IT, Marketing & Brand Building, Business Intelligence, Sales and Recruiting. The portfolio includes companies such as Catawiki, WorldRemit, Tictail, Contorion, nu3, Lostmy.name and ZenMate. You can find out more about Project A at www.project-a.com and on our blog insights.project-a.com.
Ventech, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms, invests through offices in Paris, Munich and Helsinki into high-growth companies with activities in the digital economy (internet, media, e-commerce, mobile, software and communications infrastructures). In China, Ventech manages a dedicated regional fund with a team based in Shanghai, which also offers business development support in Asia for European portfolio companies. With more than 650M€ raised since 1998, Ventech has invested in over 120 companies in Europe, China, Russia and in the US. Current active investments in Europe include successful high growth companies such as Believe Digital, Curse (recently acquired by Amazon), Ogury, Picanova, Speexx, StickyADS.tv (recently acquired by Comcast), Vestiaire Collective, Webedia or Withings (recently acquired by Nokia).