Sonder | Airbnb-like apartment with the luxury of a hotel
Sonder, Airbnb-like apartments but with the luxury of a hotel. That’s how Sonder tries to fill a gap in the market. The difference is that Airbnb units are actually apartments from local residents while Sonder’s apartment-style units are owned by the company itself. This allows them to ensure that the quality stays high as standard and radiates the luxury of a hotel.
The Origin of Sonder
The summer after his freshman year at McGill University in Montreal, Francis Davidson wanted to sublet his apartment while he returned home for summer break. After earning a small profit that summer, Francis realized he had tapped into a significant gap in the market. When he returned to campus in the fall, Francis spent his sophomore year building a website to match vacant student apartments with travellers, partnering with his friend Lucas Pellan to scale the business. They cared deeply about guests’ experiences and found ways to enhance this whenever possible – valeting cars and welcoming visitors with wine.
By the age of 21, Francis and Lucas were managing units in 11 cities and had made more than $1 million in revenue. In 2014, their idea was reinforced by a trip to San Francisco where they experienced first-hand the common issues of short-term apartment stays — trouble getting in touch with their host, halfeaten food in the fridge, dog hair blanketing the furniture. Moving to a hotel (to save Lucas from allergies) they were faced with generic chain restaurants and a boring, albeit clean, hotel room. And Sonder was born.
Sonder is made for every modern traveller
Each of Sonder’s thousands of spaces across the globe is purposefully selected, designed and maintained directly by Sonder. Whether your stay is two days, two months or two years, in a studio or a six-bedroom, Sonder ensures a unique, yet consistent experience. No two Sonders are the same. Each space is uniquely distinct and consistently excellent, customized to reflect the vibe of its neighbourhood. By forging relationships with communities, developers and local governments, Sonder enhances each city’s culture and vibrancy. For cities, Sonder partners with developers to renovate blighted properties and stabilize new construction. For businesses, Sonder encourages visitors to discover cities by suggesting nearby shops and eateries. And for local economies, Sonder’s employee footprint in each market results in millions of dollars annually spent on salaries, vendors and suppliers.