With increasing consumer awareness and favorable legislation, crowdfunding continues to grow as a viable business financing strategy for industries from hardware to real estate.
As such, it was only a matter of time before the $200 billion U.S. hospitality industry jumped on board.
Atlanta-based HotelierCo gives ordinary people the opportunity to own part of a hotel. The startup’s model is based on equity crowdfunding, following the A+ regulation issued by the SEC in 2015 as part of the JOBS Act.
“It gives people ownership in something they’re passionate about,” founder and CEO Nathan Kivi tells Hypepotamus.
Kivi spent the last 15 years in the real estate and hospitality industry, both in his native Australia and, after a move in 2012, in the United States.
Following time at global hotel brand IHG and other hospitality asset management companies, Kivi founded HotelierCo in 2017.
“With HotelierCo, there’s an opportunity to open up the hotel industry to every suitable U.S. citizen, and not just accredited investors and institutional money.”
“There’s also a loyalty side of the platform that hasn’t been done before, where people own the hotel and become frequent visitors because of it,” Kivi says. For their first property, investors also receive a tiered discount on bookings depending on the size of their investment.
He partnered with full-service hotel management firm Valor Hospitality Partners to manage HotelierCo’s properties. Valor has more than 75 hotels around the world ranging from boutique hotels to luxury resorts.
“We have gone through a lengthy process to make sure the investment is secure and give people as much as comfort as we can while investing in this space,” says Kivi.
HotelierCo has begun to accept investors this month for its first property, a beachfront resort in West Cape May, New Jersey. It’s currently valued at $14.4 million.
An investment starts at $2,500.
The boutique luxury hotel, called The Ewing Hotel, will be fully completed in 2021, though rooms will begin to open in the first quarter of 2020.
Kivi shares that they have their eye on Charlotte, Napa Valley, and Dallas for their next properties, with Central America getting a separate fund early next year.
HotelierCo is now focused on marketing and spreading the word of its offerings.
“This is the future of hotel investment. We want people to get excited about it as we get more developments off the ground,” says Kivi.
“We want everyone in the U.S. to be Hotelier.”