Luxury vacation club Inspirato has raised $17.5 million in equity funding from a group of investors including New York Yankees baseball star Mark Teixeira.
Co-founder and CEO Brent Handler - one of the founders of destination club Exclusive Resorts - says Kleiner Caufield & Byers contributed the bulk of the funding, but Access Venture Partners and four-time Golden Gloves winner Teixeira also contributed.
Inspirato is a club which aims to combine independent luxury villa rental with the advantages and extras of a destination club. Membership provides access to a portfolio of multi-million dollar properties in the US, Caribbean, Hawaii and Italy. The homes are controlled and operated through the company's long-term lease arrangements, and members can benefit from a personal vacation advisor, based at Inspirato's Denver HQ for pre- and post-trip support, as well as a concierge and housekeeping service at the properties.
Members pay a US$9,500 initiation fee plus an optional annual renewal fee of $2,500. Then they pay a market-based nightly accommodation fee for the properties they use. This averages around $1,000, but can be less in low season. Members make their reservations on the club's website - which displays availability and the nightly rate, with prices affected by factors such as how far in advance reservations are made, travel dates and length of stay. Members pay only for the nights they use, and there is no limit to how often a member can travel.
Handler says Inspirato will use the $17.5 million to double the destinations it offers to 50 by the mid 2012, as well as acquiring new members and investing in technology.