Getaway: Nature Retreats with a Modern Twist
September 10, 2020 | Scott Murphy
The “urban exodus” we’ve seen post-COVID likely won’t deal a permanent blow to city living. But after several months of social distancing at home, city and suburb dwellers alike might be craving a change of scenery and an excuse to unplug for a long weekend.
Getaway, an Alumni Ventures Group portfolio company, develops and operates a growing portfolio of modern, year-round cabins located within a short drive of major cities. The company offers customers a way to completely disconnect while enjoying a balance of simple amenities and access to nature.
Year-Round Options Across the Country
Getaway’s micro-cabins are 160 to 200 square foot tiny houses on wheels placed on secluded land in wooded, natural landscapes. The tiny houses are dog-friendly and available year round, with a fan or AC and heat for the winter months. Along with one to two queen beds, guests have access to a toilet and hot shower, as well as a small kitchen with a sink, basic cooking tools, mini-refrigerator, stove, and food essentials. Additional features include an AM/FM radio, wireless speakers, and a mini library.
Getaway’s sites are already structured to maintain distance from others. Cabins are 50 to 150 feet apart and have a private fire pit. Guests receive their reservation info and door code exclusively via text or email (i.e. no check-in desk). In between stays, staff wear PPE while cleaning each cabin and now spend twice as long sanitizing.
Since launching in 2015, Getaway has grown its portfolio from 10 cabins in three markets (Boston, NYC, D.C.) to 12 outposts across the country, with several cabins at each site. The company ensured each location is within roughly an hour drive of several major cities, with options in close proximity to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio, and Washington D.C.
Accessing a Deal with Alumni Connections
Alumni Ventures Group connected with Getaway through an alumni connection with The Yard Ventures, AVG’s fund for the Harvard community. In the summer of 2016, AVG CEO Michael Collins and Yard Managing Partner Michael Madden met with the director of the Harvard Innovation Lab to source deals from the alumni community. She included Getaway among her top recommendations and made the introduction to Founder & CEO Jon Staff that same day.
Though Getaway had already raised its Seed round, AVG stayed in contact with the company and tracked its progress. The company raised a $15 million Series A in 2017 led by L Catteron, an established investor in the consumer/brand space. The Yard sponsored AVG’s investment and was joined by sibling funds Blue Ivy Ventures (for the Yale Community), Castor Ventures (for the MIT community), Green D Ventures (for the Dartmouth community), Purple Arch Ventures (for the Northwestern community), and AVG’s Total Access Fund.