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Contxto – Selina, the Panamanian-born hospitality startup, is sizing up to be a real heavyweight. Word at Bank of America is that the corporation is planning to team up with the startup to raise a US$500 million fund for real estate properties in the United States.
Add debt into the mix and it’s an investment vehicle holding around US$1 billion to buy or lease real estate. Likewise, the plan is to wrap up fundraising midway through 2020.
These funds will help leverage Selina’s acquirement and setting up of properties. A costly task that it previously handled on its own. No doubt this strategic move will accelerate the startup’s presence in the United States.
Should this vehicle prove successful, Selina may even raise a similar fund in Europe and expand its operations there. However, for the moment, the main objective is to find an executive to manage their joint project.
Bohemian Rhapsody of a startup
Founded in 2015, Selina offers lodgings and experiences to travelers with a taste for adventure. Surfing, jungle hikes, treehouses, and even co-working spaces for ever-busy nomads. Its niche market is clear and it helps to explain why this startup been such a hit.
So much so that Selina has already played with some of the big kids on the block. Its investors include the likes of Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, Tom Barrack’s Colony Latam Partners, and even He Who Must Not Be Named at WeWork, Adam Neumann.
All of which has summed up to a valuation of around US$850 million as of its Series C round back in April.
If this US expansion cum real estate vehicle works out, topped with a similar takeover in Europe, it is only a matter of time before more investors come knocking at Selina’s door. Might it be the next unicorn?