Selina raises £70M to create a boutique travel lodging experience built around communities.

Selina, one of the world’s fastest growing hospitality brands has announced UK expansion plans following an investment of £70 Million in Series B funding. The investment, led by the Abraaj Group, with additional investments from Sir Ronald Cohen, founder of Apax, Gigi-Levi Weiss, and WeWork founder Adam Neumann.

Founded in 2015 by Rafael Museri and Daniel Rudasevski, what started as originally a real estate company has now turned into a venture-funded start up which goes around the world creating a different kind of hotel product out of renovated older properties.


The company, operates 24 urban, beach, jungle and mountain-side locations across eight countries in Central and South America and is set to open new locations in five major UK city centres; including London, Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh as it starts to expand beyond Central America. The investment marks an important step in Selena’s plans to establish a UK presence for the brand and is set to increase Selena’s offering to 54,000 beds worldwide by 2020.


The Selina experience will be structured around frequent travellers looking to meet other like-minded individuals that might be looking to either explore a new area or find a co-working spot while travelling. Instead of just renting out a room in an Airbnb or paying for a hotel room in a boutique hotel, or co-working space, Selina aims to be a more streamlined way to get that mixture of a community experience, a boutique hotel feel, and the ease of getting a consistent experience across multiple different properties.


If you’re looking to travel abroad, and if you’re looking to work while doing so, it might be tough to convince yourself you can find a cool boutique hotel that caters to a lot of different price points, as well as surround yourself with people that will help you feel like you should still get your work done. That’s the goal of Selina, an emerging co-working and travelling hospitality service that opens up campuses geared toward fitting those needs” said Steven Ohayon, VP of Business Development.

He added: “There are lifestyle hotels, surf camps, co-working places, hostels, and all those kinds of properties, a lot of companies talk the same talk. What was different about us and what we were telling the world is we were doing something different in the hospitality world. We’re creating a much more holistic program for the traveller. It’s not just a hotel, or for co-working. It’s everything that the traveller would want. And we hope the speed at which we’re doing it is also unique. Most hotels couldn’t get a product and convert it in 3 or 4 months into a new brand.


Combining the social elements of a hostel with the style and comfort of a boutique hotel and the experience of a festival or retreat where you’re getting people of all different backgrounds into one spot to meet each other and get a feel for the area.  Selina offers a uniquely democratic approach to accommodation. Everybody, from any background, can have a unique experience surrounded by like-minded individuals, whether staying in a luxury suite at £225 per night, or hammocks, dorms or camping areas starting from £11 per night. The whole point is that customers shouldn’t be spending most of their time in their rooms.


We are the first company to capitalise on this lifestyle shift for travellers and the way people are working. We are totally focused on delivering a tech-first way of travelling and living and working and will provide a hospitality experience UK consumers can’t find elsewhereOhayon said.



Each property will be unique and different from each other with a mix of private rooms; small dorms and shared spaces, including food and beverage concepts and local event programming. Once identified and acquired, the locations will be renovated in collaboration with local artists, designers and craftsmen and filled with newly hired and trained team members in a transition that takes just 90-120 days. It’s an asset light development method that is a game-changer for local communities, new employees and travellers and offers partners a strong return on investment.


Steven Ohayon said: “Part of the process is finding areas to renovate and how to properly staff them. Selina looks to hire people that have the specific experience working with those regions when it comes to taxes and regulations, and one of the benefits it has is that it is usually repurposing old real estate. Then there’s the data aspect of it, where Selina is able, like any emerging hospitality service, to collect the right information from potential customers to improve the more community-oriented experience at Selina. In the end, it’s about having that campus-oriented feel to it rather than just renting someone’s home on the beach” he said.
He added: “We’ve seen a strong appetite for this type of product from developers, cities, and travellers globally.  We’re now looking for UK partners across the UK who understand our unique concept and are plugged in to their local community to help us operate new sites.”


Selina started in Central America and has since begun expanding throughout those countries. Expansion plans are also underway in North America and Europe. Selina’s first U.S. location will be opening in Miami this September, followed by New York and LA, with locations in Portugal, Poland, Germany, Israel, Greece, Hungary and Spain soon to follow, bringing the total to 15 countries by end of 2018.


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