Leavy.co, a Paris-based lifestyle startup, has managed to secure over $14 million in funding, thanks to angel investor Dominique Vidal and Dutch-based Prime Ventures, as reported by TechCrunch.
The company, founded in 2017 by CEO Aziza Chaouachi, is described as a “travel community and marketplace” that helps millennials vacation without having to go broke. The app’s hook? It pays folks who are looking to rent out their home before it is actually rented out, as an attempt to ease travel costs.
Leavy.co also handles hosting and management duties, hiring local “Hosts on Demand” to hand out keys, keep the place clean and conduct related tasks. All the travelers, dubbed “Happy Leavers,” have to do is list their home on the app for the intended dates and the company handles the rest.
The exact price offered to those who rent their homes out is dynamic, with Leavy.co arriving at an amount with the use of an algorithm that factors in various data sets, including how much notice was given, how in demand the home is and how long it is available for.
Paying users before their homes are actually rented is a unique business model, one that places much of the risk on the company itself, something that CEO Chaouachi is acutely aware of.
“We are the first pure-scale marketplace that takes a risk for its users,” she said. “As network orchestrators, we generate profit with dynamic pricing. Our tech is obsessed with finding the optimal point of satisfaction for every user.”
Leavy.co also offers a sort of travel credit for its users, dubbed Leavy Coins. Members earn these coins by posting tips and recommendations to the app, among other tasks, and they can be spent on travel-related products.
Though the app can be used by anyone, Chaouachi says it is primarily marketed to millennials because they, on average, need money up front before going on a vacation.
“Buying a house like our parents is not an option, so we crave that weekend trip to Lisbon to lift our spirits before we go back to work on Monday,” she continued. “We don’t offer yet another item the Instagram-generation will never be able to buy. We actually boost their buying power instead.”
Chaouachi also said that millennials are the travel industry’s “largest spenders” and there is some data to back that statement up, with Business Insider noting that millennials travel, on average, 35 days a year, which is the highest number from any generation.
Leavy.co is currently operating only in Europe but plans on entering the U.S. market in the coming months.