Digital hospitality platform WhyHotel has procured a $90 million investment, which they will use to acquire properties, as well as put toward the operating company.
The company, which began as a pop-up concept in 2017, is rebranding under the name Placemakr to “better reflect its business divisions of hotels and mixed-use apartment buildings,” reads a press release.
According to Jason Fudin, cofounder and CEO of Placemakr, the rebranded company plans to acquire $750 million of real estate in the next 18 to 24 months for the purpose of turning them into mixed-use units. Last year, the company acquired $250 million of real estate as “permanently flexible real estate under the Placemakr brand.”
The WhyHotel pop-up concept now accounts for 20% of the business. “Our second business line, which we’re now branding as ‘Placemakr’ is where we take a 300-unit building on a forever basis and run it as furnished or unfurnished, short- and long-term stay,” Fudin said. “That can be for six months, six weeks or one night. Today, more than 80% of our inventory is that permanently flexible set of assets.” The company will begin the venture with PlaceMakr Premier SoBro, in Nashville, Tennessee, in July.
The goal seems to be to steer mixed-use units as the dominant concept, rather than standard real estate. “Real estate is a pretty old-fashioned business,” Fudin said. “Everybody does it the way they have always done it. The idea that you could take a hotel or an apartment building and remix them together to this more profitable, more downside protected, more flexible asset was hard for people to wrap their arms around. Covid changed all that.”