Airbnb and Jetsetter better step up their local luxury game. Today, onefinestay, the London-based home-rental company announced it would be heading stateside, flush with $12 million in financing, and ready to open up its “unhotel” model in New York City. What, exactly, is an “unhotel”? Basically, just a fancy way of saying Airbnb for the fabulous set or Jetsetter’s Homes listings. The company finds high-end private abodes, takes care of the photography, marketing, and insurance, and offers amenities like linens and cleaning.
Global investment firm Canaan Partners, which has offices in New York and Silicon Valley, led the round. Existing investors Index Ventures and PROfounders also participated. Index has certainly been a busy beaver. Since revealing its new $442 million fund Sunday night, Index has already announced four deals, including New York darlings Codecademy and Shapeways. (Onefinestay cofounder and CEO Greg Marsh spent three years on Index Ventures’ IT investment team.)
Meet Your Maker
Some may tsk-tsk the “learn to code” meme, but that hasn’t deterred New York-based Codecademy from sticking to its vision of teaching all of us to code. Today, cofounder Zach Sims announced on the company blog that the startup has raised $10M in series B funding from VC firms Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures, as well as angel investors Yuri Milner and Richard Branson.
The Third Dimension
Shapeways, the Dutch 3D printing startup that moved out to New York after a $5.1 million investment from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures, has been on a steady crusade to introduce the future-facing practice of 3D-printing to the mainstream.
After a year in New York, the Esty of 3D printing, which makes it easy for people to create and sell their own designs on its open source 3D printers, got that hockey stick growth on its way to becoming the factory behind a growing maker community. (MakerBot is also a fan.)
Today, the company announced its first U.S. distribution center, a 5,000 sq. ft. facility in Long Island City in Queens with a nearby factory in the range of 15,000 sq. ft. to follow. Betabeat talked to Kegan Fisher, Shapeways’s director of industrial engineering, about the particular challenges of building out production and shipping for a company that processes hundreds of thousands of completely unique items on demand.
(We have it on good authority from one of her coworkers that in addition to being a “serious rockstar” in the office, Ms. Fisher also “wears the coolest heels” in New York.)
If adulation for Brooklyn’s own Bre Pettis from sources like Time magazine and Stephen Colbert is any indication, 3D printing has found its way into the cultural ether. Who doesn’t like the idea of a machine that spits out a product based on your digital specifications? It’s even saving the poor homeless hermit crabs, didja hear?
Well, the personalized manufacturing revolution is not lost on VCs.
Shapeways, the company Betabeat called a contender for the next Etsy, just raised an impressive $5.1 million from Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures—the same VC firms that invested $5 million in Shapeways’s series A round last September. Unlike Maker Bot, which creates open source 3D printers, Shapeways focuses on printing out your designs and setting up (an Etsy-like) marketplace for designers to sell their goods.
In addition to the $5.1 million, the startup, which is headquartered near Madison Park, also got a loan commitment of $1.2 million from NYC Investment Fund.
But the really big news, at least for New York City, is that the company plans on opening up local printing facilities, reports TechCrunch.