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TravelAI Has Purchased and Relauched Casai.com

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Skift Take

Casai is lifeless however its ghost stays. The previous firm’s area is now considered one of greater than 350 journey reserving web sites.

TravelAI has bought and relaunched Casai.com, the area of the short-term rental operator startup that closed final July after elevating greater than $48 million. 

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TravelAI says it has greater than 350 shopper journey web sites the place customers can full bookings. Manufacturers moreover Casai embrace Hire by Proprietor, Hotala, Trip Cottages, and Cabinns. The corporate’s clients are massive on-line journey companies, similar to Reserving.com. Customers are directed to these companies’ web sites to finish bookings. 

TravelAI and the manufacturers it creates are owned by Vancouver-based UpNext.

The Casai.com model is targeted on luxurious short-term leases primarily within the Mediterranean and Caribbean. 

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TravelAI stated it makes use of a proprietary AI-powered tech platform to deploy and scale web sites shortly, centered on figuring out underserved segments with the potential for profitability. The corporate stated it additionally makes use of AI to automate advertising and marketing, operations, and finance.

TravelAI claims Casai be be instantly worthwhile.

“This model will probably be worthwhile from day one as a result of our economies of scale, use of AI-supported expertise, and skill to monetize visitors successfully,”  stated Chris Jensen, chief operations officer of TravelAI, in a press release. “It’s a painful reality within the journey market that many companies fail. The earlier house owners invested closely in model growth, but have been unable to attain profitability earlier than abandoning their efforts.”

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The Downfall of Casai

Casai had designed and operated 50 buildings containing 1,600 models in Mexico and Brazil, with plans to open one other 2,000 models, in keeping with a Linkedin submit in July by Casai CEO and co-founder Nico Barawid that detailed circumstances behind the closure. The corporate additionally had constructed software program for operations, pricing, and analytics.

Its opponents have been firms like Sonder, which has been experiencing struggles of its personal. 

Casai raised $23 million in fairness funding in 2020 from companies together with Andreessen Horowitz, an early backer of Airbnb and Fb. It additionally secured as a lot as $25 million in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital.

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The Mexico Metropolis-based firm had generated almost $30 million in income at its peak, Barawid stated. 

Nevertheless it by no means reached profitability. 

The models that Casai managed have been taken over by different operators together with Blueground, Charlie, Wynwood Home, Capitalia, and Oasis Collections, in keeping with the submit. 

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The give attention to hypergrowth was in keeping with expectations throughout a time when rates of interest have been low and traders have been extra keen to take larger dangers. Within the present enterprise capital market, traders are extra cautious, and startups are having a more durable time discovering new funding in the event that they don’t have worthwhile enterprise fashions.

Casai was considered one of a number of startup shutdowns which might be persevering with to happen throughout this time. 

“We have been working beneath the belief that we simply wanted one final funding spherical that may then get us to profitability; and this wasn’t only a pipe dream. All our monetary indicators have been pointing on this path,” Barawid stated within the submit. “For all of the lengthy days of labor and tales of Casaiers’ success that stored me energized, the chilly reality was we have been up in opposition to an funding drought with a mannequin not favored by VC traders to supply enterprise returns.”

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