misterb&b, a French startup with an Airbnb-like platform with 100,000 hosts in 135 countries, has closed a $8.5 million Series A funding round led by Berlin-based VC Project A and Ventech. With the new fresh capital, misterb&b plans to expand its global operations, and to continue on the path to becoming the central platform for gay travel.
The idea for starting misterb&b was first conceived in 2013 after founder Matthieu Jost had a negative experience while traveling with his partner and didn’t feel welcome by his host. This was when he started to plan building a platform where members of the LGBTQA community can travel safely and comfortably at an affordable price and bond with like-minded travellers within the community. misterb&b was officially founded in 2014. The goal is to make misterb&b the global LGBTQA platform for traveling, connecting in real life and feeling welcome everywhere.
misterb&b CEO Matthieu Jost explained: “While the sharing economy for short-term rentals has increased, it has been difficult for gay hosts and travellers to feel secure and welcome. We look forward to expanding our services backed by two strong investors, so even more members of the LGBTQA community can connect globally and feel safe and welcome anywhere they travel.”
misterb&b is a response to strong demands for collaborative tourism in the booming niche of global gay tourism, which is estimated to be a $100 billion market. The gay market is also a premium segment, traveling twice as much as other travellers.
Anton Waitz, General Partner at Project A, commented: “With great dedication and a strong vision, the misterb&b founders have built an impressive platform in a very attractive global market. We are excited to have misterb&b as the first company with roots in France joining our portfolio, and are looking forward to supporting them with our team of 100 operational experts.”