Andreessen Horowitz led a US$48m Series A in Casai, a Mexico-based developer of boutique travel apartments, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, KaszeK Ventures, monashees, Global Founders Capital Liquid 2 Ventures, and founders of Nova Credit, Loft, Kavak, and Runa. The round included US$25m in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital, in addition to US$23m in equity financing committed by the above investors. KaszeK Ventures and monashees invested US$5m previously.
(Press Release) -Casai, an emerging markets hospitality brand that offers beautiful and intelligent living spaces suited for the nomadic generation, today announces a $48 million Series A including $23 million in equity funding and up to $25 million in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital. The round is the largest Series A raised by a company in Mexico today and one of the largest in Latin America. Led by Andreessen Horowitz, the equity funding includes participating investors Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, Kaszek Ventures, Monashees Capital, Global Founders Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Tom Stafford (managing partner of DST Global), and founders of leading startups including Nova Credit, Loft, Kavak, and Runa. The new capital follows Casai’s $5 million seed funding led by Kaszek Ventures and Monashees, bringing Casai to a total of $53 million raised.
Casai is building a new vision for hospitality in Latin America. Launching with almost 200 units in Mexico City, Casai sets a high standard of excellence with luxurious amenities, stunning locally-sourced design and sophisticated smart technology. Casai’s real estate and design teams scout each space in-person to ensure that the location, lighting, finishes and layout together match the premium experience Casai offers the modern traveler. To promote sustainable culture in tourism, Casai works with local artisans to design each space’s furniture, artisanal amenities and art, which is available for purchase by guests.
Technology is integrated into each traveler’s stay with Casai’s proprietary smart hardware hub, Butler, which connects all of the space’s smart technology to the Casai app. Through the app, guests can access keyless check-in, control smart devices including Google Home, smart lights, and Chromecast-powered TVs and browse local recommendations. The hardware allows Casai to optimize guests’ experience by proactively identifying when issues (like internet connectivity) may arise. In addition to transforming the guest experience, Casai’s technology is used in all aspects of its operation from its decisions on scouting units to how it manages its behind-the-scenes logistics.
Alongside its spaces in Mexico City, Casai has built a dedicated lounge in the Roma Norte neighborhood, where guests can relax ahead of check-in or after check-out. Guests will be able to access the all-day concierge, a team of locals who can recommend and book reservations for restaurants and nearby experiences. The company aims to have these guest lounges in key neighborhoods around the world.
Built by a team of diverse industry leaders in tech, design and high-end hospitality, Casai is co-founded by CEO Nico Barawid, who comes from Nova Credit and BCG, and COO María del Carmen Herrerías Salazar, who comes from Grupo Presidente, one of Mexico’s largest hotel operators. Casai’s CTO Andrés Páez Martínez comes from Google, CRO Alberto Ramos was previously at McKinsey, and Chief Growth Officer Daniel Hermann comes from Selina. Alexa Backal, Casai’s head of design, comes from GAIA Design, and Cristina Crespo, VP of Experience, previously ran WeWork’s international design studio.
“We want to embed our guests in the culture that makes the travel experience magical while also helping the local economy,” said Nico Barawid, co-founder and CEO of Casai. “We practice sustainable culture in tourism by working with local artisans to fill our spaces and creating interactive experiences that support their art and tell their stories. We’re honored to have raised this funding to continue this mission and grow Casai to new levels.”
Casai has plans to expand throughout Latin America. Between 2010 and 2018, Latin America experienced an increase of nearly 55 percent in international tourist arrivals. Prior to COVID-19, UNWTO forecasted that Latin America will attract 78.2 million tourists by 2027, generating $82 billion for the local economy.
“To successfully execute on this opportunity, a team needs to bring together expertise from consumer technology, design, hospitality, real estate and financial services to develop world-class operations needed to deliver on a first-class experience,” said Angela Strange, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “It was obvious when I met Nico and Maricarmen that they are operationally laser-focused and have uniquely blended expertise across verticals, with unique views on the consumer experience.”
Casai is an emerging markets hospitality brand that offers beautiful and intelligent living spaces suited for the nomadic generation. Whether you stay for a while or stay for the weekend, each apartment meets a high standard of excellence with luxurious amenities, stunning locally-sourced design and sophisticated smart technology. Every Casai has keyless check-in, a Google Home, Chromecast-powered TVs, high-speed WiFi, and more that can all be controlled from the Casai app. At the Casai lounge, guests can rest before check-in and after check-out, take work meetings and speak with an all-day concierge, who can provide recommendations and help book reservations for local experiences. Casai currently has nearly 200 spaces in Mexico City with headquarters in Mexico City and offices in São Paulo. Founded by tech, design and hospitality veterans, Casai has raised the largest Series A in Mexico today and is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz’s Cultural Leadership Fund, Kaszek Ventures, Monashees Capital, Global Founders Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, Tom Stafford (managing partner of DST Global), and founders of leading startups including Nova Credit, Loft, Kavak, and Runa. To learn more, visit casai.com and download the app for iPhone and Android.