onefinestay – the London startup success story reshaping the luxury rental market
London’s latest startup success story, onefinestay has brought ‘handmade hospitality’ to private homes. And now that major hotel group Accor has acquired it, expect even bigger things to come
From a Soho sitting room to the hospitality big leagues, onefinestay has come a long way in its first six years. Founded in 2010 by Greg Marsh, Demetrios Zoppos, Tim Davey and Evan Frank, the company has more than 2,500 homes in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Rome.
In early April 2016, the four founders shook hands with Sébastien Bazin, CEO of AccorHotels, in a deal worth at least $240m. Bazin explained that onefinestay’s unique positioning had caught his eye, fulfilling ‘a combination of needs that neither traditional hotels nor new actors of the sharing economy can meet’. This huge deal has accelerated onefinestay’s bid for global recognition – it’s planning to open in 40 cities by 2020. So where did it all go right for onefinestay’s founders?
The four founders shook hands with Sébastien Bazin, CEO of AccorHotels, this April in a deal worth at least $240m
On a summer evening in 2009, Greg was walking through residential Mayfair on his way home from work, shortly after a trip to Italy. Everything was ordered and familiar, but something was wrong, something was missing. Then it hit him: all the lights were off. There was no one home. Greg’s own place had been sitting unloved while he was discovering the cobbled streets of Pisa, where he’d returned each evening to a dreary airport hotel. He looked at those pristine Mayfair homes and realised he was looking at the antidote to soulless travel – and empty city centres.
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“We’re very happy with the service. The calendar system is easy to use, and the flat is always clean and ready for us when we return. We benefit from an additional income, without any of the hassle of dealing with tenants.”
– Dominique, onefinestay homeowner
For the time-poor, jet-setting city slicker, it couldn’t be easier to list your home with onefinestay. Find out more about joining onefinestay here, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg’s idea would give people a new way to experience a city. Sophisticated travellers could stay in the best homes in the world’s greatest cities, and homeowners could earn money from those guests while they’re out of town – without having to lift a finger.
Greg left his job at a venture capital firm and decided to take the plunge and experience the startup adventure first-hand, with Demetrios, Tim and Evan joining him. The company was born in Greg’s Soho sitting room – and Greg’s own home was one of the first to be listed on onefinestay.com.
Beautiful townhouses and sleek city apartments are only part of the story – superlative service is what really sets onefinestay apart. In a time when almost everyone is renting out their spare room, garden flat or sofabed, onefinestay’s attention to detail is second-to-none.
From marketing and maintenance to cleaning the home and welcoming guests when they arrive, every aspect of the process is carried out by the onefinestay team, so you can spend your time doing what you want.
onefinestay is Britain’s latest startup success story, though it doesn’t stop there for Greg and the team. Forty new cities by 2020 is an ambitious goal, but given the creativity and innovation the company has shown in the last few years (not to mention winning support from a global hotel company), the onefinestay story is surely only just beginning.
For more information see onefinestay.com