A Letter From The Casai CEO: Announcement of $48M Series A Funding

I am excited to officially announce our emergence from stealth mode with news of our Series A of $23M, led by the inimitable Angela Strange at Andreessen Horowitz. We are also humbled to announce our partnership with Brian Lewis at TriplePoint Capital for a debt facility of up to $25M. This recent capital follows our previously unannounced $5M seed round, led by Marcelo Lima at Monashees Capital and Nico Szekasy at Kaszek Ventures, bringing us to a total of $53M.

"We combined my consumer passion with her industry expertise and built Casai: a new hospitality concept solving both of our travel pain points.

Casai Co-founder and CEO, Nico Barawid
Casai cofounders nico barawid and maricarmen herrerias
Casai co-founders Nico Barawid and Maricarmen Herrerias in the new Casai lounge/coworking space

 My co-founder Maricarmen Herrerias and I made the leap into entrepreneurship two years ago. United by our passion for travel, Casai was directly inspired by our experiences: I deeply craved this product as a consumer, having spent much of my career traveling for work. I would seek out beautiful and intelligent living spaces that combined with unique touches. Meanwhile, Maricarmen spent several years as a hospitality strategist, knowing there was a better, more tech-forward way to run a hotel. We combined my consumer passion with her industry expertise and built Casai –  a new hospitality concept solving both of our travel pain points.

We built a brand at the intersection of technology — led by our brilliant CTO Andrés Páez Martínez — and guest-obsession — originally led by my sister Rosalia Barawid. We began small, with a couple of units in the city, but we expanded rapidly within the first year and, even still, our demand for inventory increased faster than we could have predicted.

Although this was a new challenge, our occupancy routinely hit 100 percent and our guest ratings have remained sky-high. As labor needs also increased, we began adding a diverse array of talent with backgrounds in technology, hospitality, haute couture, finance, strategy, interior and more.

One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of is our company’s commitment to local economic development and environmental sustainability. Because of the capital we’ve raised, we’re privileged to contribute a substantial amount of resources to the local economy. From the furniture in our units to the amenities we provide for our guests, our team works closely with local artisans to ensure every apartment aesthetically speaks the local language.

In several cases, our local partners have even expanded the capacity of their workshops to meet our demands. We vet each supplier to ensure they meet the highest standards of ethical employment and sustainable production because building a sustainable tourism economy is core to our ethos.

From the furniture in our units to the amenities we provide for our guests, our team works closely with local artisans to ensure every apartment aesthetically speaks the local language.

Casai Co-founder and CEO, Nico Barawid

One of our core values at Casai is to “make the world a better place than we found it” and we believe the best way to do so is by working within our community as collaborators rather than disrupters. We are currently working with a local nonprofit called TECHO, which provides affordable housing to populations facing poverty in Latin America and we maintain a close relationship with ’s Secretariat of Tourism to promote tourism in the most sustainable way possible. 

M.A artisans from oaxaca mexico
Tapestry hanging in a Casai apartment designed by local artist, M.A. and created by artisans in Oaxaca, MX.

18 months ago, we could not have predicted the turn the world would take nor the challenges the hospitality industry would endure. But we also, unknowingly, built an accommodation solution perfectly suited to this new reality. Though much of the world remains paralyzed, we are incredibly fortunate to see our occupancy return to 90%. Some core features of our business have even become a new global standard: keyless entry, industrial-grade housekeeping and spaces suited for both long and short-term stays.

We are heartened by the industry’s shift towards a tech-powered consumer experience and excited to lead the way in research and development.

Casai Co-founder and CEO, Nico Barawid
As we join our peers in hoping for a speedy recovery, our ambitions remain unfazed, potentially supercharged. We are heartened by the industry’s shift towards a tech-powered consumer experience and excited to lead the way in research and development. Our advancements in hardware will not just provide a world-class experience for our own guests but will push the boundaries of what’s possible for the industry at-large. We’re excited to bring our hospitality model to more countries in the years to come.

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