Sonder (company)

(Redirected from Sonder Corp.)

Sonder Holdings Inc. manages short-term rentals, such as apartment hotels, in North America, Europe, and Dubai.[1][2] It was founded in Montreal, Canada in 2014 and since 2016 has been based in San Francisco, California.[3][4]

Sonder Holdings Inc.
TypePublic company
Founded2014; 9 years ago (2014)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
FounderFrancis Davidson
Lucas Pellan
Martin Picard
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California
Area served
North America
Key people
Francis Davidson, CEO

Sonder manages over 9,000 units in over 40 cities in 10 countries and has served over 1 million guests.[5] It is the largest host on Airbnb.[6] Although it competes with Airbnb,[7] Sonder leases and manages its own rentals.[8] It targets travelers who prefer larger accommodations than a hotel room but want a more predictable experience than renting from an amateur host.[9][10][11][12] Guests use a mobile app to check in and get customer support. The company outsources maintenance and housekeeping services.[13][14]

History Edit

In 2012, to earn extra money, Francis Davidson, a student at McGill University, began subletting his own apartment and managing apartments of out-of-town students in the summers.[15]

In 2014, Davidson and Lucas Pellan founded Flatbook, later renamed Sonder, and brought the company to FounderFuel, a startup accelerator in Montreal.[15]

In 2019, Sonder announced projects in Dallas,[16] Denver,[17] Miami,[18] New York City,[19] and Philadelphia.[20]

In March 2020, Sonder laid off 400 employees, one-third of its staff, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[21] Later that year, the company rehired some people who had been laid off.[15] By June 2020, the company had raised over $550 million and was valued at $1.3 billion.[15][22]

In January 2021, the company announced a planned expansion in Quebec, including hiring 700 employees there over the next five years. Sanjay Banker was named president of Sonder, in addition to his role of CFO, and Satyen Pandya was named CTO.[23] In April 2021, Sonder reopened the Flatiron Hotel in Manhattan in April 2021, after signing a lease for the property in 2019.[24]

In January 2022, the company became a public company via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company.[25][26] Also in January 2022, the company signed agreements to operate three properties in Washington, D.C.[27] In June 2022, it was announced that the company would eliminate 21% of corporate roles and seven percent of frontline roles.[28] Among those laid off was the company's CTO.[29]

Controversies Edit

Fines by Boston Edit

The city of Boston fined Sonder $11,700 in December 2019 under a new law banning absentee landlords from short-term rentals. Sonder, which accounted for 39 of the 288 such fines in the city, appealed.[30]

Neighbor opposition in Minneapolis Edit

In 2019, the developer Sherman Associates agreed to reduce the number of units leased to Sonder in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after complaints from the neighbors regarding proliferation of short-term rental units.[31]

References Edit

  1. ^ Morris, Keiko (October 15, 2019). "This Dallas Apartment Building's Sole Tenant Is a New Lodging Company". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ "Sonder Corp". Bloomberg L.P.
  3. ^ Carson, Biz (July 11, 2019). "Sonder Becomes Travel's Newest Billion-Dollar Brand After Raising $225 Million For Its Airbnb-Style Hospitality Business". Forbes.
  4. ^ MAROTTA, STEFANIE (July 11, 2019). "Montreal-founded Sonder raises $225-million in financing, plans to open second headquarters in Canada". The Globe and Mail.
  5. ^ "About Sonder". Sonder.
  6. ^ Sharf, Samantha (September 27, 2019). "Airbnb Arbitrage: How Professional Hosts Are Filling The Unicorn's Call For Quality Rentals". Forbes.
  7. ^ Roof, Katie (April 25, 2019). "Sonder Poised to Become Airbnb's Billion-Dollar Competitor". The Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ Warren, Katie (December 17, 2019). "I spent a night in a swanky hotel-apartment hybrid rented out by Sonder, the $1 billion startup disrupting the hospitality industry. Here are 6 ways it was different from a typical Airbnb stay". Business Insider.
  9. ^ Putzier, Konrad (December 10, 2019). "In the Airbnb Era, Apartment Landlords Are the New Hoteliers". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Barber, Megan (September 24, 2020). "The 10 Best Alternatives to Airbnb". Curbed.
  11. ^ Linder, Gina (December 15, 2022). "How Companies Like Sonder & AirBNB are Changing the Way We Travel". Refermate.
  12. ^ SCHLOSSER, KURT (August 27, 2020). "Part apartment, part hotel, Sonder moves into Seattle with its tech-enabled hospitality option". GeekWire.
  13. ^ FARLEY, AMY (February 19, 2019). "Why Sonder—a boutique hotel chain that operates like Airbnb—is a growing threat to the hospitality industry". Fast Company.
  14. ^ STOREY, NATE (July 15, 2020). "A Hospitality Brand for the Post-Pandemic Future". Surface.
  15. ^ a b c d Huddleston Jr., Tom (February 20, 2021). "This 28-year-old turned his college side hustle into a $1.3 billion start-up backed by Jeff Bezos". CNBC.
  16. ^ Brown, Steve (October 15, 2019). "Planned Uptown Dallas tower would start as short stay rentals then switch to condos". The Dallas Morning News.
  17. ^ "10 major hotel projects expected to break ground in Denver in 2020". BusinessDen. January 6, 2020.
  18. ^ Kallergis, Katherine (December 2, 2019). "Sonder inks lease for flagship Wynwood hotel". The Real Deal.
  19. ^ Morris, Sebastian (October 21, 2019). "New Renderings Revealed for 23-20 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Queens". New York YIMBY.
  20. ^ Adelman, Jacob; Oppenheim, Oren (August 21, 2019). "Renters are being forced out of Old City apartments to make way for Philly visitors". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  21. ^ "Hospitality startup Sonder slashes workforce". The Real Deal. March 24, 2020.
  22. ^ Bertoni, Steven (June 24, 2020). "Hospitality Startup Sonder Raises $170 Million At A $1.3 Billion Valuation During Covid-19 Travel Collapse". Forbes.
  23. ^ Solomont, E.B. (January 12, 2021). "VC-backed Sonder beefs up executive suite". The Real Deal.
  24. ^ Jones, Orion (March 16, 2021). "Sonder to open in Flatiron Hotel next month". The Real Deal.
  25. ^ Schaal, Dennis (January 19, 2022). "Sonder Underwhelms in Public Debut". Skift.
  26. ^ Barreira, Alex (January 18, 2022). "SPAC sees stock drop after merger with S.F.-based Sonder". American City Business Journals.
  27. ^ Wallace, Jacob (January 12, 2022). "Hospitality Startup Sonder Opening 3 New D.C. Locations". Bisnow Media.
  28. ^ Bote, Joshua (2022-06-10). "SF startup once valued at $2B lays off a fifth of employees". SFGATE. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  29. ^ "Sonder Slashes Workforce by More Than 20 Percent, Including Top Tech Exec". Skift. 2022-06-10. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  30. ^ COTTER, SEAN PHILIP (December 22, 2019). "Short-term rental companies, facing fines, fight Boston enforcement". Boston Herald.
  31. ^ Buchta, Jim (July 16, 2019). "Developer agrees to scale back short-term rentals at Minneapolis complex". Star Tribune.

External links Edit

  • Official website
  • Business data for Sonder Holdings Inc.: