Business

Can’t afford Inspirato’s luxury vacation homes? Now you can get your job to pay

For the fabulously wealthy, Inspirato offers a killer service: luxury vacation home rentals with a full concierge service, all for less than you’d pay a typical broker. For the rest of us, it’s been yet another exclusive travel service out of our grasp — until today.

With Inspirato’s latest product, you may finally get to that ridiculously posh Aspen vacation home. The downside: You could be there with your boss.

The company today announced Inspirato for Business, a service that opens up its vacation properties for corporate meetings and rewards.

“If you think about a luxury hotel for a minute, they have multiple channels for people to stay there — many businesses use hotels during non-peak times for offsite meet-ins, corporate events, and reward trips,” said Brent Handler, Inspirato’s founder and chief executive, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We needed an avenue for the off-season … so we’re selling our platform as a software and access license to companies of all sizes.”

Inspirato now has more than 3,500 paying members for its original service, and it’s on track to generate more than $50 million in revenue this year. Its members pay a one-time initiation fee of $17,500 and an annual fee of $3,000, on top of the costs for their vacation rentals. The company has also partnered with American Express to offer discounts to its card members for the privilege of using the American Express name (the startup currently goes by “Inspirato with American Express”).

Unlike other vacation services, Inspirato offers most of the amenities of a luxury hotel. Its properties have attentive concierge services available, and they’re also maintained and furnished obsessively. Handler notes that Inspirato may generate a bit more revenue for luxury homeowners, but the big draw is its simplicity. After all, people who own luxury homes probably have better things to do than maintain a property for renters.

Now that it’s finally found a way to take advantage of its properties in the off-season, Inspirato’s growth is likely to continue skyrocketing.

As Handler describes it, businesses could use the service in a number of ways. They could use it simply to book a corporate retreat, or like a travel voucher for employees. Inspirato for Business works as a software platform, so if you’ve received a voucher for $10,000, you’ll only have the option of choosing vacation homes within that budget.

“Airbnb works great for the general population, but there’s no way it’ll work for businesses,” Handler said.

Not surprisingly, Inspirato has seen plenty of love from venture capitalists (the sort of people who’d actually use the service). The Denver, Colo.-based company has raised $65 million from Kleiner Perkins, Institutional Venture Partners, Millennial Technology Venture Partners, and DAG Ventures.


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