Rental Operator Placemakr Lands $65M in New Funding
By Celia Young March 21, 2023 9:01 amreprints
Placemakr, a short- and long-term apartment rental service, landed $65 million in fresh equity to expand its national real estate footprint.
The firm scored cash from real estate and venture capital investors including Highland Capital Partners, Bernstein Management Corporation, Camber Creek and Gaw Capital, bringing Placemakr’s total funding to more than $350 million since its start in 2017, the company announced Tuesday.
Placemakr plans to use the cash to build out its sales and marketing teams, enter into new partnerships with landlords for Placemakr’s apartment-style rentals, and source deals to purchase its own properties in major American cities, Jason Fudin, co-founder of Placemakr, said.
Fudin said he will consider expanding Placemakr’s footprint in metropolitan areas it currently operates in, namely New York, Nashville, Washington, D.C., and San Jose, Calif. The company also will look at cities where it previously operated pop-up hotels, including Seattle, Miami, Houston and Baltimore, as well as other popular travel destinations, he said.
“Normally we’re in prime locations,” Fudin said. “It’s generally in a bustling neighborhood, the neighborhood or destination that you’d want to stay or live in, where there’ll be demand for short stays, long stays, furnished and unfurnished.”
Fudin plans to acquire $500 million worth of real estate in the next 12 to 16 months and add more than 1,000 units to the crop it operates on behalf of other landlords, he said. The expansion would nearly double the 3,000 apartment units Placemakr currently rents out across the U.S.
Timothy Franzen, Placemakr’s new chief development officer, will lead the firm’s expansion. Franzen joins Placemakr after a six-year stint as president of Graduate Hotels, where he helped the chain grow its national portfolio, and posts at Westleigh Hotels and Portfolio Hotels & Resorts in Illinois.
“I am eager to bring my experience to Placemakr as we create something new in the industry,” Franzen said in a statement. “Innovation is the backbone of Placemakr and was the primary driver for my desire to join the organization.”
Placemakr got its start in Washington, D.C., in 2017 as WhyHotel, renting out new apartments as hotel suites. It scored a deal to rent out the Rudin family’s 110 Wall Street in New York in 2021 and rebranded as Placemakr a year later, after landing $90 million in funding to acquire new properties.
The company is in the midst of converting a 12-story D.C. building from offices — once home to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — into rental units with Bernstein and developer Urban Atlantic, Commercial Observer reported.
A representative for Graduate Hotels did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Celia Young can be reached at email@example.com.