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Recharge, used to book hotel rooms by the minute, raises $2.3 million

TechCrunch TechCrunch 3/06/2016 Connie Loizos

Recharge, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose app enables users to book a stay in hotel for just for 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour, has closed on $2.3 million in seed funding.

Binary Capital led the round, with participation from Floodgate, entrepreneur Rick Marini, Eniac VC, Expansion VC, entrepreneur-investor Scott Banister and early Google engineer Harry Cheung.

We talked with the company in March, and at the time, it had already partnered with Hyatt and Starwood Properties in San Francisco, where a Recharge user can stay as long as he or she likes and the hotel will clean the room afterward.

In a quick exchange this morning, CEO Emmanuel Bamfo told us that some more properties are coming online soon, but he declined to discuss the details.

Recharge splits the revenue with each property, depending on the day and time and time of the month that the hotel’s rooms are being booked.

When we interviewed Recharge, we noted that the app could appeal to people looking to conduct extracurricular activities during working hours (wink), something its hotel partners might not like for long.

But Bamfo and Recharge’s new investors clearly see the app as having far broader appeal. Think of the person who works far from home and wants to shower before a business dinner, or who wants to practice a speech, or who’d like to breastfeed a baby in privacy.

Certainly, hotels seem to like the prospect of making better use of their empty rooms. Yet another startup, Hotels By Day, has inked partnerships with several hotels in New York, San Francisco, and L.A. that allow users to book a hotel during working hours rather than overnight. The key word in its marketing materials: daycation.

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