Hospitality and Restaurant Tech was hit pretty hard when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the U.S. into lockdown and most of the hospitality industry was forced to closed their doors. As states and countries around the world attempt to re-open slowly and safely while the pandemic still has no cure, we are forced to adapt to life in a new normal and several hospitality technology companies are looking to help address this new need. Sonder, the short-term apartment rental platform, has announced a $170M Series E along with the fact that bookings are back to 80% of their pre-pandemic levels. They have found success in offering long-term rentals to people displaced by the virus as well as individuals or families looking to re-locate to new cities to escape urban virus hotspots. The Series E was led by Fidelity, Westcap Group, and Inovia Capital and values Sonder at $1.3B.
SevenRooms develops software to help restaurants, hotels and venues run their business and mange reservations. With new needs for social distancing and capacity limits restaurants are being forced to carefully manage their patron numbers and take advanced reservations with has lead to SevenRooms recently announced $50M Growth Round by Providence Strategic Growth. Both of these deals underline a trend of growing investor confidence that had been frozen the last few months. As economies attempt to safely re-open there will be tremendous new opportunities in the hospitality and restaurant tech business to help these businesses re-open safely. Seeing both activity and demand in these sectors as well as new venture deal activity are encouraging signs that we are slowly (and hopefully safely) figuring out avenues in which we can return to normal.