In the News from Panama

Panama Hotel Startup Gets $100 million Investment

Hospitality company Selina, which started in the small fishing town of Pedasi in Panama, recently raised $100 million in Series C investment to help fund its global expansion.

The company, billed as a “lifestyle, travel and hospitality platform,” is reportedly planning to open four new hotels in the U.K., as the latest step in its dramatic growth spurt. Dubbed the “Digital Nomad Hotel of the Future” by Forbes, the 12-year-old company has 46 properties in 13 countries and expects to grow to 400 locations by the end of 2023, TopHotelNews reports.

Selina is an example of a new breed of hotel/hostel company, merging travel, experiences, and lifestyle for young travelers. Beyond accommodations, the company offers a “place to connect with others,” targeting travelers “looking for a unique, immersive, purpose-filled experience.” Each hotel is an “eco-system” with co-working and wellness elements.

The company typically takes large, neglected spaces to create its facilities. Selina expects to add 31 properties in Germany, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina in 2019. It’s also been adding properties in New York and Miami.

The new U.K. locations will be in Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham.

“We’ve been looking for the right opportunity to bring the Selina way of life to the U.K. and enter the bustling market with an established footprint,” said CEO and co-founder Rafael Museri.

An example of the entrepreneurial spirit often found in Panama, Selina was founded in 2007 by Museri and Daniel Rudasevski, who were working on real estate projects in Pedasí, a small fishing town in Panama. The first Selina opened in Venao, a surf town near Pedasí, in 2014. Selina is now growing quickly in Central America, South America, North America, and Europe.

Access Industries, Groupo Weise and Colony Latam Partners were among the funds participating in the latest round of financing, Contxto reports.