In its third investment to date, Milwaukee venture capital firm Gateway Capital Partners invested $300,000 in Houstr Inc., a Racine startup building a platform that enables short-term rental property and boutique hotel owners to sell products like mattresses, shower heads and flooring to their guests.
The platform allows property owners to create a digital storefront of products within their rental units. They can also sell services like mid-stay cleanings and experiences like tickets to local museums. As guests make purchases, both Houstr and the property owner can earn commissions.
The model is designed to help property owners earn extra revenue while creating guest experiences that can compete with larger hotels, give consumers try-before-you-buy opportunities and help brands get in front of potential customers.