Stealth Travel Website Stayful Raises $2.4 Million

Posted Apr 3, 2013

Based in New York, Stayful is a website that has raised $2.4 million in funding according to an SEC filing.  Stayful was co-founded by Cheryl Rosner, the former CEO of BuyWithMe.  John Balen of Canaan Partners was listed as a director of the company in the filing, which implies that the company invested in the startup.  Stayful co-founder Shariq Minhas, former VP of engineering at FanIQ and Expedia/ manager, was also listed as a director at the company.

Stayful’s website was taken down today after receiving some press.  Before the website was taken down, Drew Patterson (founder of Jetsetter / Room 77 CEO) and Chip Conley (Joie de Vivre Hotels founder) was listed as helpers. Below is a description that the website had before being taken down according to PandoDaily:

As boutique hotel customers, we know how hard it is to find a great deal at a special boutique in a new city. Particularly if you are travelling soon.

And we also know boutique hotels are always looking for great, new customers just like you to offer them rooms that might otherwise go unsold.

So we built Stayful, the first online travel site focused on boutique hotels with a unique bidding system that allows consumers to find and stay at the best hotels at a great price.

BuyWithMe, the company that Cheryl Rosner ran, is a daily deals website that raised $31.5 million and acquired 6 competitors.  Rosner left BuyWithMe in 2010 while the daily deals market was out.  BuyWithMe ended up being absorbed into Gilt Groupe after laying off most of their staff.  Rosner was CEO and President of TicketsNow before BuyWithMe.  TicketsNow sold to Ticketmaster for $265 million in 2008.  Rosner was also president of Expedia Corporate Travel before TicketsNow.