A member of our team was recently at lunch with a friend, Sam, who got a call in the middle of the meal – the cleaner who was scheduled to clean Sam’s vacation rental property was sick and wouldn’t be able to do the job. Meanwhile, the next guest was scheduled to arrive later that afternoon. Unfortunately, lunch was cut short – Sam quickly paid the bill and headed to the property to clean it himself.
Sam only owns one property, and since he manages it himself and lives nearby, he can jump in and get his hands dirty when he needs to. But imagine the complexity of managing vacation rentals at scale. Within a large portfolio you will have multiple properties to clean and have prepared for new guests every day, there are a multitude of ongoing maintenance tasks, and it is inevitable that things will break down without warning. Failure to efficiently manage the day-to-day is not only costly for a property management business, but it also adversely impacts the most important stakeholders – the guests.
Last month we announced that we led a $15.0M Series B for Breezeway, a company whose mission is to empower property managers to offer superior guest experience by providing high quality property care and undivided attention to guests’ needs.
Experience is a core component of our thesis in PropTech, and when we met the Breezeway team earlier this year we were excited to learn that we share a vision for the future in which real estate is significantly more people-centric.
Further, through our research we identified compelling tailwinds behind the vacation rental industry which drove us to get involved. In particular AirBnB and Vrbo have catalyzed a cultural shift toward vacation rentals and away form hotels. The opportunity to experience new places “like a local” resonates with travelers, and these platforms have dramatically lowered the barriers to list a short-term rental, which has increased the total supply and overall diversity of homes available to rent throughout the world. Meanwhile flexible work is here to stay post-pandemic – this allows for more frequent travel and long-term stays. And we are only in the very early innings of growth in this market – as of today only about 18% of the population has ever stayed in a vacation rental.
CEO Jeremy Gall is a veteran of the travel industry and is surrounded by a rockstar team with deep industry knowledge and unmatched passion for solving this problem. We could not be more excited to partner with Jeremy and his team on this journey.
In order to deliver on its mission, Breezeway built the industry-leading operations management system (“OMS”). Breezeway’s OMS platform includes tools to schedule and assign cleaning and maintenance tasks, verify task completion and quality, communicate with teams in the field, manage inventory, and store critical property information needed for successful asset management. Breezeway integrates with 30+ property management systems, the core system of record for a property manager.
The company also offers a messaging platform that streamlines communication between property managers and guests leading up to and throughout a stay. And thanks to the combination of this direct line of communication and Breezeway’s unique insight into a property’s status, property managers can leverage the platform to offer early check-ins as well as discounted extended stays during gap nights, further enhancing guest experience.
Catalyst’s goal is to invest in category leaders that provide mission-critical tools to markets that are adopting technology at an accelerated rate. When we met Breezeway the mutual fit was immediately clear and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the team for this next phase of growth. Breezeway has an exciting roadmap and we are already hard at work – we look forward to sharing more soon!