Getaway, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based start-up that promotes “tiny” living, has closed on a $15 million funding round. The company builds and rents tiny homes as destinations for vacationers, and plans to expand beyond its current locations near Boston and New York, according to a CNBC report. The funding was backed by L Catterton, a firm that’s invested in start-ups like Pure Barre, Snap Kitchen and Bliss. Tiny homes usually cost less than $50,000 and offer a few hundred square feet of livable space. They have caught on with younger Americans who are looking to downsize, or live a simpler existence. Jon Staff, Getaway’s CEO, said more people appear to be buying into the concept and Getaway bills itself as a way to try out the tiny living concept.
“We have thousands of people writing in from around the country asking to nominate their city. The game for the next year and beyond is trying to get to as many of those people as possible.”
The tiny home charge isn’t without its challenges. According to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trust report, there are fears of declining property values in traditional home markets, and states and localities that view tiny homes as illegal. That isn’t hurting Getaway. Unlike Silicon Valley start-ups based largely on ephemeral metrics like active users and web clicks, Staff said Getaway’s business model is designed to chip away at stress in the tangible world.
“We have real costs, we have real revenues, we have these physical buildings that exist in the world.”
With near-solid bookings since its July 2015 launch in Boston, including two Februaries with 95 percent occupancy, Staff said Getaway’s focus on simplicity lowers costs, and distinguishes the company from traditional hotels, or AirBnb. Staff added that vacations can sometimes create more stress than they alleviate.
“We think of ourselves more like a spa, or yoga, or binge-watching Netflix, those other things that allow you to quickly and affordably disconnect.”