A “Club Med for Millennials”

Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is among the backers of a new hotel start-up aimed at creating a “Club Med for Millennials”. Habitas, which was born out of a camp at the Burning Man desert arts festival, has raised $20 million to expand its “3D-printed hotel” concept to new markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa having tested the model in Tulum, Mexico. As well as Mr Kalanicks’s personal investment fund 10100, entrepreneurs including Tim Steiner, chief executive of online supermarket Ocado, Justin Mateen, the co-founder of dating app Tinder, and Div Turakhia, the Indian ad-tech billionaire, have all backed Habitas, alongside technology investors Maurice Salem, Shervin Pishevar, Mike Novogratz and Jonathan Teo. Oliver Ripley, who co-founded Habitas initially as an events company, said he spent six months building the investor base, which will also act as a “brains trust” as the hotel company expands. Mr Ripley expects to have eight locations by the end of the year, with a Namibian hotel due to open this month, and 10 to 12 a year thereafter… With rooms costing $200-$400 a night, Habitas is pitched between traditional hostels and five- star hotels, aimed at millennial tourists looking for a social holiday rather than a “fancy lobby”…

Nic Fildes and Tim Bradshaw