Frontdesk gets investment from Bucks’ Lasry

Milwaukee startup oversubscribed on funding round

Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan and Michael Fascitelli

Milwaukee corporate housing management startup Frontdesk has received a $250,000 investment from Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.

Jesse DePinto

The investment will go toward the $1.09 million seed-plus funding round Frontdesk is currently raising. The round is now oversubscribed, said co-founder Jesse DePinto.

“We are considering going to the board and requesting an oversubscription on this round…due to the large amount of investor interest,” DePinto said.

Frontdesk was founded in January 2017 by chief executive officer Kyle Weatherly and DePinto, chief technology officer. It targets short-term business and personal travelers, leasing apartments and then subletting them to guests.

Marc Lasry’s son Alex, senior vice president at the Bucks, pointed his dad to the investment opportunity, DePinto said. The deal was inked about a month ago.

Alex Lasry

“They kind of came as a team. The father is investing but Alex is the one we’re really interfacing with on a daily basis,” DePinto said.

Alex Lasry has joined the Frontdesk board of directors, which also includes DePinto, Weatherly and Jon Lancaster, managing director at Madison-based family office Lancaster Investments, another investor.

“They are such an attractor to people coming in to Milwaukee for various reasons, so definitely Bucks games but also things like the (city’s bid for the) DNC (convention in 2020),” DePinto said. “You’re basically advertising Milwaukee on the center stage across the country.”

Alex Lasry said the father-son duo decided to invest in Frontdesk because it seems like a sound investment and he expects the startup to disrupt its sector.

Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan and Michael Fascitelli

“I’ve known Kyle since I’ve moved to Milwaukee and he is a really smart and capable entrepreneur,” Alex said. “They always say when investing in startups it’s not just the idea, it’s also the people. Kyle is someone who has not only proven the concept he has, but has also shown his growing potential.”

The Lasrys have also invested in The Tandem restaurant and the Sherman Phoenix project, both ventures spearheaded by developer Juli Kaufmann, but have not invested in any other Milwaukee startups, Alex said.

While the Bucks players wouldn’t stay in a Frontdesk apartment while traveling, Alex said he could see it being useful for employees in other areas of the business.

“I think Frontdesk serves as a type of company that for any sort of employee that is looking to travel…if we ever have people that are traveling here, that’s something we would look at,” he said.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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