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Investor insight: AltoVita speaks to Miguel Nigorra, Partner and Head of Europe at Fifth Wall

The corporate accommodation market is ripe for investment. Rising rapidly after the 2019 covid crisis, the total market now sits at an impressive $600bn. But in an economic landscape that remains volatile alongside fluctuating travel trends, how do companies stand out and attract investors’ eyes? 

“We are especially excited about corporate accommodation market opportunities. It’s a very attractive market, coming out of the 2019 COVID crisis with a really strong tailwind; the total market size is $600billion for corporate accommodation alone.” – Miguel Nigorra, Partner and Head of Europe at Fifth Wall

In this Q&A, we talk to Miguel Nigorra, who is a Partner and Head of Europe at Fifth Wall, where he is responsible for all investment activities and other strategic initiatives for the firm in the region. 

Originally from Madrid and now currently living in London, Miguel previously worked at McKinsey for over nine years in the Madrid, New York and London offices. As part of the digital practice, he led teams across Europe in numerous real estate engagements. 

Miguel and Fifth Wall co-led our recent Series A investment round in a market which saw less than two per cent of VC funding go to women-led businesses in 2022. 

So what do companies need to do to secure investment? And why did the firm choose to invest in AltoVita?

“AltoVita is not only consolidating all demand in the market, but is also supporting corporates with their internal administrative needs.”  – Miguel Nigorra, Partner and Head of Europe at Fifth Wall

What does Fifth Wall look for in companies from an investment perspective? 

When we’re looking to invest in a company, the first thing we will look at is the founding team and management. What is the problem they [the company] are solving and is there a real need for that particular company in the market? And then, what is different about their approach or technology that is going to give them a competitive advantage in the market? 

The other thing we’re always very interested in looking at is ‘what is the total size of the market?’ So, how attractive the market is and how big the opportunity is, as well as what is the strategic value that we can derive as a fund, either because of our expertise in the field, or because we can foster strategic relationships between our portfolio companies and our investors and partners.

What was it about AltoVita that caught your attention? 

When we looked at AltoVita, there were two things that were particularly exciting at the beginning.

One, AltoVita can tackle any corporate accommodation needs for businesses from day one. It has a very diversified portfolio, with over 165 countries across five different types of asset classes. It also has a really clear go-to-market strategy, and already has over 1.5 million properties listed on its platform across over 1500 cities globally. 

Two, it has a 4-tier quality control system and guest management team that is able to address some of the pain points that corporates currently face, including pricing consistency, lack of duty of care and compliance with company policies.

AltoVita is not only consolidating all demand in the market, but is also supporting corporates with their internal administrative needs and compliance.

What were the key reasons for investing in AltoVita?

AltoVita is not only building a marketplace but saving companies significant amounts of time and energy. Through its corporate housing platform, the team can create extensive efficiency for businesses. For example, the platform can consolidate all invoices into one single system, help companies build their own travel policies and give employees the independence to book their accommodation directly via the AltoVita portal. 

We were very impressed by Vivi and Karolina, the two founders of AltoVita. They have built an amazing culture and we’re very proud to back a fully female-led team. Most of the management team at AltoVita are female, and we’ve also been impressed by the great international culture they’ve been able to build.

What market opportunities do you see for AltoVita moving forward? 

We are especially excited about corporate accommodation market opportunities. It’s a very attractive market, coming out of the 2019 COVID crisis with a really strong tailwind; the total market is $600 billion for corporate accommodation alone.

There’s also a massive opportunity for AltoVita in the Global Mobility market. Just taking into account the Global 2000 companies, the total market is worth around $12 billion annually. This is because many of the existing corporate accommodation providers are not duty of care compliant, they don’t have a diversified mix of properties across different asset classes, and they don’t take care of the things that are very important to corporates, such as safety and security.

The fact that AltoVita has raised the amount of capital it has during the pandemic ($9.5m) is a big big win for the company. At Fifth Wall, we co-led their Series A investment round, and I am personally a member of the board of directors and have been supporting AltoVita in securing valuable business opportunities in several ways. 

Firstly, I introduced the team to some of our suppliers and hospitality operators. Secondly, I supported the company with building and growing its team further and expanding internationally. And thirdly, as a firm, we have been helping AltoVita build its brand and marketing through events and a variety of initiatives that have been very successful; this has resulted in AltoVita signing several really strong customers. 
To learn more about AltoVita and Fifth Wall’s partnership in the $9.5m Series A investment, set to redefine corporate accommodation technology across the globe, read our blog here.

Watch the video interview with Miguel here:

 

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