Investment to fuel property expansion for world’s fastest growing destination club
DENVER, CO (October 20, 2011) — Inspirato has announced $17.5 million in equity funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), the preeminent venture capital firm for category building consumer companies. Founded by Brent and Brad Handler, the co-founders of Exclusive Resorts, Inspirato eliminates what is wrong with luxury vacation rentals, adds what is right about destination clubs, and creates the perfect solution for families wanting to vacation better. Other investors in the round include Access Venture Partners and New York Yankees All-Star First Baseman Mark Teixeira.
Launched in January of 2011, Inspirato’s quickly expanding property portfolio has over 85 residences in 25 destinations. With more than 900 memberships sold to date, Inspirato is already cash flow positive and plans to use the new capital to add even more vacation choices for its members.
“KPCB’s investment in Inspirato offers further proof that ‘smart luxury’ is alive and well, and that savvy consumers are looking for a better way to vacation with family and friends,” said Inspirato founder and CEO Brent Handler. “Our members recognize that overpaying for a luxury vacation is no longer a status symbol. They have been burned too many times playing vacation roulette with online rental sites and have no interest in first-generation destination clubs whose initiation fees are typically hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The Inspirato membership is simple and affordable. Members pay a one-time Initiation Fee of only $15,000 and an Annual Membership Renewal fee of $2,500. Unlike other luxury vacation clubs and fractional ownership options, Inspirato has no complex or confusing reservation rules. Members travel as often or as little as they like, and have no restrictions on usage, even during peak travel periods such as school holidays. So far this year, members have traveled thousands of days to club-managed properties and reported satisfaction of 9.4 out of a possible ten point scale.
At the center of the company’s success is a unique business model whereby the club enters into long-term leases on properties directly with owners. This structure eliminates brokers’ fees and enables the club to control the end-to-end vacation experience for members. Inspirato’s model allows for deeply discounted nightly rates, personalized service, and maximum availability, even during peak travel seasons.
Ted Schlein, partner at KPCB who will join Inspirato’s board of directors, said, “We believe that Inspirato is rapidly becoming the standard for luxury vacations in homes. Offering an affordable, fully curated member experience from one vacation to the next distinguishes Inspirato from other luxury vacation rental options. I am excited to work with the Handlers who co-founded Exclusive Resorts and have deep expertise in this business.”
Schlein added, “In the luxury market, even affluent consumers are prioritizing value and exercising discretion when making purchase decisions. We believe there is a significant advantage for businesses that not only offer quality, but also value to the affluent consumer.”
New York Yankees All-Star First Baseman Mark Teixeira, who along with several high-profile CEOs and athletes joined Inspirato earlier this year, recently became an investor in the company as well. “After taking my family on an Inspirato vacation, I knew this was a concept that would appeal to so many other families, especially ones with children like mine,” Mark said. “The properties are spacious and in the ideal location, the service is proactive, and everything we need to make the trip perfect is at our fingertips. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Inspirato is the luxury vacation solution ideal for travel with family and friends that combines the best of destination clubs’ consistency and service with the value and flexibility of villa rentals. Inspirato founder/CEO Brent Handler is the co-founder and former president of Exclusive Resorts. By leasing its vacation properties (rather than owning,) Inspirato is able to keep membership fees low, offer up to 80 percent off market rates, and easily add homes and destinations as demand increases. The company’s innovative business model has led to rapid growth since its January 2011 launch, placing Inspirato at the forefront of the “luxury for less” movement.
Access to Inspirato’s personalized travel services and advisors, club-managed portfolio of more than $150 million in vacation homes, and exclusive discounted everyday rates, is available for an Initiation Fee of only $15,000 and a small Annual Membership Fee of $2,500. There are no complicated restrictions; members travel as much or as little as they like. Inspirato residences are outfitted with the highest quality amenities and located in popular destinations including Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, California, South Carolina, the Caribbean and Colorado. Beyond luxury residences there is Inspirato Metropolitan, a collection of select fine hotel and resorts in the hottest destinations around the globe, and Inspirato Experiences, offering expertly curated vacation adventures.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Google, Amazon, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Sun, Symantec, Twitter, and Zynga. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.