Frontdesk, a Milwaukee startup, helps corporate travelers book travel online. The goal is to become Airbnb for business travelers seeking a place to stay akin to corporate housing. The company states on its website: “We offer securely managed short-term stays at the best apartments in the best cities.”
The company was founded in 2018 and now has offerings in thirteen cities around the country – including Kansas City, Milwaukee, and St. Louis. One of the goals of the new round is to increase the company’s housing capacity and to expand to additional cities – potentially as many as twenty cities and 500 apartments/suites.
The company also is seeking to upgrade its technical platform. According to Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer Jesse DePinto: “Frontdesk has positioned itself to be a technology leader in the vacation rental industry. The capital propels our hospitality brand and its technology to new heights.”
This round has been estimated at approximately $2.75 million by Crunchbase and was led by Bill La Macchia of the La Macchia Group. In addition, the Sand Hill Angels and Motivate Venture Capital participated in the round. Previously reported by others, Frontdesk has also received investment from Mark Lasry, a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Frontdesk’s raise places Milwaukee slightly behind last year’s venture capital fundraising at the same point of the year. Specifically, Wisconsin had produced 121 deals by this point in 2018 with more than $364 million deployed, whereas in 2019 only 71 deals with $427 million have occurred. Milwaukee has dropped from 33 deals to 21 deals with a decrease of roughly $10 million in invested capital in 2019.
To find out more about Frontdesk, check out their website at www.stayfrontdesk.com.