Announcing our $200M Series E to continue innovating in extraordinary times
Today, we are announcing that we recently closed on a Series E round of $170 million, led by Fidelity, WestCap, and Inovia Capital, which brings Sonder’s valuation to $1.3 billion. In the coming weeks, we expect to raise additional capital from new and returning investors that will bring our Series E total to around $200 million. This fundraise and valuation increase comes after the most severe downturn the hospitality industry has ever faced. While we expect the recovery from the pandemic to be long and difficult, with this latest round of funding, Sonder is well-positioned to help lead a re-invention of the travel industry in the months and years ahead.
We’re extraordinarily grateful for the confidence our investors, team members and guests continue to place in us during these unprecedented times, and we take absolutely nothing for granted. This is validation of the progress we’ve made on the strategies we outlined at the outset of the pandemic to ensure Sonder would survive the crisis and emerge a stronger company. For example, our focus on innovation enabled us to quickly pivot towards providing longer stays for guests in need of housing during the pandemic. Deployed in mere days following the first travel restrictions, this initiative was essential to our success over the last few months, leading to a higher-than-average occupancy rate of no less than 40% at the height of the pandemic.
As early pioneers in the “contactless” guest experience, we’ve been providing the kind of stays that most guests are now seeking, long before COVID-19. Whether for long or short-term, our self-contained spaces and self-service solutions — including digital check-in, keyless entry, professional cleaning, and no lines or crowded lobbies — are the foundation of what guests now demand from a hospitality company. Fully-equipped kitchens, extra living space, and private laundry, which are standard in most Sonder spaces, are an added bonus. It’s why our global occupancy rate is now consistently at 75%.
Our Series E would not have been possible without the strong relationships we’ve forged with property owners, who have partnered with us to adjust lease terms. This, along with some extraordinary, and at times painful, cost-cutting measures, have allowed us to maintain a strong cash position, crucial to the long-term success of the business.
With this new funding, our priority is to scale Sonder carefully and responsibly. We will continue to engage with our real estate partners about new exciting locations as well as innovate on the guest experience and continue to ensure Sonder remains a great place to work for our employees. We’re excited to develop new ways to deliver a better stay for our guests including new features, services and partnerships. Our work has only just begun, but we are optimistic about what the future holds for Sonder, our guests and the future of travel.