The Hotel-by-the-minute startup, ‘Recharge’ now calls itself Globe

Source: Globe

Recharge — a smartphone app and startup — decided to rebrand itself as a home-stay platform. Today, they’re calling itself Globe, which allows a more intrusive approach by providing people’s living rooms, for example, available to rent and pay by the minute.

When Recharge launched in 2016, they raised some eyebrows when it announced itself as a platform that will bridge hotels and guests, but instead of the typical overnight stays, the startup will be an app where people can book rooms by the hour or even by the minute.

Back then, it positioned itself as a platform where people are provided the same set of benefits they can get from booking a regular hotel room but not having to pay for it at full price. In other words, they’re providing a space that people looking for a short ‘staycation’ can rest, nap, do meetings, and calls.

Recharge was also useful for people staying in a particular area for a short period of time. Practically, renting out a room for a couple of hours before going out to the airport for early morning flights, for example.

“People view it like selling a lamp on Craigslist. ‘If it’s not much work, and it’s another form of income, I’ll do it,’” Founder Manny Bamfo told an outlet. The reality is a “lot of people with great jobs living in cities that are very expensive — people who are cops, who are teachers, who aren’t quite making six figures, and any extra income is a godsend.”

However, Recharge only offered their service for hotel rooms when it launched. According to the company, they couldn’t figure out a way to properly manage home inventory, so it settled with hotels.

Founded in 2015, Recharge’s main goal was to provide by-the-minute rates to rent other people’s homes. In fact, that’s where the founders initially got their start.

Fast forward to January of 2019, Recharge launched its Homes service where they started offering people’s homes for rent. They were similar to what the widely popular home-stay app, Airbnb, offered. However, a host rents out his or her space for smaller increments of time.

A few months later, Recharge has decided to reinvent itself as Globe.

Essentially speaking, Globe’s services are similar to Recharge. They offer the platform where homeowners can rent out a specific area in their homes such as their living rooms, their guest room, or even their entire home but still being able to only ask customers to pay by the minute or hourly rates.

If more than anything, Globe should follow Recharge’s success. Since launching in 2016, Recharge has had over 50,000 bookings with an average stay of 2 hours on its apps from hotels alone. However, as of January this year, the app has also accumulated over 1,100 approved homes.

In January, the Homes service has launched over 1,000 listings in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York — with another 80k people reportedly on a waiting list. 

The inclusion of cities like San Francisco and New York are convenient because they have notoriously been strict with home-sharing laws. Recahrge’s policy where people only stay for minutes or hours at a time was able to serve as a loophole and allowed homeowners to rent out their spaces.

Now with Globe, hosts will still have to apply and be vetted, including providing a copy of their lease if they don’t own the home to ensure the service won’t violate its terms.

Although cleaning services previously proved to be another hurdle with quick stays because cleaners had to do their jobs more frequently compared to only having to do it once a day per room.

If Globe is set to be the same with Recharge, it should offer the same two options: self-managed option, which means the host takes care of the cleaning and gets to keep most of the revenue, and an “autonomous” option, for which Recharge provides the cleaning, but takes a much bigger cut of the fee.

According to the company, homeowners could earn up to $2,000 a month if they choose to handle the cleaning services themselves.

In terms of the by-the-minute rates, prices vary but in 2016, the rate was $0.66 per minute or $40 for an hour. While other sources say that rates would be $50 per hour to people who host their entire home by the hour and $25 per hour to those who share less room.

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