Short-term rental startup Lyric that raised $180 million from Airbnb, RXR Realty, Tishman Speyer, Barry Sternlicht, Fifth Wall and other investors is shutting down all but one of its locations, making it the latest travel company to be defeated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Forbes reported.
- Be Smart: Lyric’s effective shutdown as a rental business is a drastic fall for a company once seen as a rising star in the category. Launched in 2014, Lyric leased full floors in apartment buildings and then rented out furnished units to business travelers, a customer base it focused on as Airbnb dominated the general traveler market. At the start of 2019, Lyric operated more than 400 units in 22 locations across 13 cities.
- Future is bleak: While it remains unclear whether the company will keep its sole remaining location open at 70 Pine Street, the startup’s fate is murky as co-founder and president Joe Fraiman departed the company last week. When asked whether Lyric will exist in a year, he added: “in today’s environment, I think predicting the future a year out is hard.” [Forbes]