Sonder moves closer

Sonder’s move in to the hotel space has received a huge boost as well as a hefty shot of credibility, with the appointment of Frits van Paaschen to its board.

Van Paaschen brings over a decade of experience at Fortune 500 companies to Sonder. His previous roles include not only spells with giants such as Nike and Disney, but eight years as the CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and an advisory role for CitizenM.

His Amazon best-selling book, The Disruptors’ Feast, is described as an instruction manual for companies seeking to navigate today’s rapidly changing global economy.

Van Paaschen said: “As a life-long traveller to more than a hundred countries, I’m truly impressed by what the team at Sonder is working to build every day and how it has already helped reshape accommodations. I’m thrilled to be joining the board of an incredible company that’s delivering amazing experiences to guests around the world – the hospitality industry is ripe for innovation, and Sonder is leading the charge.”

Sonder which raised $225 million in series D funding in 2019, leading to a valuation of nearly $1 billion, has gone from being viewed as an alternative to hotels, with its master-lease managed apartment rental offer, to a company that is happy to be considered as a player in the hotel space – as evidenced by the December 2019 signing of the One Eleven Wynwood Hotel by Sonder, in Miami. Owned by BH Investment Group, the property is scheduled for completion by summer 2021 and will be managed by Sonder.

Sonder CEO and co-founder Francis Davidson has pulled off a real coup by adding van Paaschen to his team, and it’s a safe bet that we will now see further hotel signings for the brand during 2020.

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