Frontdesk raising $1 million round

Milwaukee startup leases apartments for short-term travelers

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Milwaukee corporate housing management startup Frontdesk LLC is raising a $1.09 million funding round, according to a new SEC filing.

Jesse DePinto

The company has raised $585,468 from three investors so far, the filing says. It began the equity and debt round on July 20. Madison family office Lancaster Investments lists Frontdesk as a portfolio company.

Co-founder Jesse DePinto said the filing includes both a $300,000 convertible note seed round earlier this year, and a $750,000 seed-plus round it is currently working on. He expects the round to close in the next few weeks.

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The startup decided to launch a second round in the same year beacause, “we continued seeing opportunity in the market to grow,” 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.

Weatherly, who is also principal at Milwaukee venture capital firm Vliet Street Capital, was previously president of Milwaukee medical compression garment manufacturer Solaris Inc. Solaris was acquired in 2014 by Germany- and Austria-based medical device supplier Lohmann & Rauscher, which then opened a North American headquarters in Milwaukee in 2015.

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DePinto was previously a product manager at Telkonet Inc., and has founded several startups over the years, including 3D scanning company Voxel Metric Inc., which was dissolved in 2014, and technology solution provider Tosa Labs LLC.

They decided to form a new startup together because “we’re both passionate about growth and entrepreneurship in Milwaukee,” DePinto said.

Frontdesk, which has six employees and about 20 contractors, is currently operating in Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Charlotte, North Carolina. Weatherly and DePinto plan to use the new funding to bring on additional metro areas in the U.S. DePinto declined to say which cities are next, but expected to add three new cities this year.

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“We work with some companies, but primarily we go through direct marketing online, so we are filling the need in the market for people who book their own travel,” DePinto said.

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