Sonder, which offers travel accommodation through a mixture of traditional hotels and short-term rentals in apartment buildings, wants to appeal to business travelers more. The San Francisco-based startup announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with a number of travel management companies including Expedia Group’s Egencia and TripActions to make its inventory more accessible to business travelers.

The move comes just before the annual Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process that companies often follow to plan upcoming business trips as a recovery is expected in face-to-face meetings in the US Travel startup accommodations are in the pandemic Era to mainstream. The move also comes after Sonder reached a merger agreement with blank check firm Gores Metropoulos II with a plan to go public later this year with a valuation of $ 2.2 billion.

Sonder has also signed agreements to make its content available on at least one global distribution system.

UPDATE: The startup said it sells pricing and inventory to Amadeus, Saber and Travelport (Galileo / Worldspan) through an external distributor.

Before the pandemic, 80 percent of Sonder’s guests were leisure travelers, according to its latest investor pitch deck. The company has maintained its leisure bias over the past year, although some parts of the travel industry are creating the impression that the brand is geared towards business travelers.

The startup’s real estate portfolio is in densely populated areas and many of its units offer square meters to work and not just sleep. In theory, its properties should appeal to street warriors.

Sonder has a few quirks that need to be addressed. Not every property has desks or tables, and many middle-aged business travelers won’t want to work on a laptop on a couch or bed for long periods of time. Special properties that are approved as short-term tenants often require guests to identify themselves prior to their stay in order to comply with structural or local regulations. Uploading a photo of a driver’s license or other ID card adds complexity that a traditional hotel stay typically lacks.

When asked by Skift, Kristen Richter, VP of Sales at Sonder, replied, “Guests need to fill out an account profile and go through a three-step authentication process. In order to confirm the identity of the traveler, we need an identity check via our app – just like traditional hotels at the reception. “

It remained clear how the handoff is between a corporate booking through a corporate booking tool or an agent through a travel management company to an individual traveler who is asked to download an app and complete the verification process. Business travelers may be confused or upset when they show up for a stay but can’t check in because they need to download an app first.

Richter also offered this comment:

“Similar to other companies booking through the GDS, Sonder follows all booking, modification and cancellation policies as outlined in our agreements with TMCs, booking partners and accounts. Sonder’s Central Guest Services (CGS) team can take care of any changes, unless the corporate guest has to change their booking through their corporate provider – as agreed with the partner. Our CGS, Sales and City teams are equipped and ready to support all of our guests, including business travelers. “

Make it what you want.

Sonder’s interest in the business travel segment comes at a time of increasing dynamism in this segment. Last week Daydream Apartments renamed itself Sentral, making the 3,000 apartments it manages in seven US markets, including Los Angeles and Seattle, bookable for any length of stay from one night to several years. Sentral’s 10 buildings are owned by the investment firm Iconiq Capital.

Earlier this year, Skift reported that “UK serviced apartment company STAY and US Mint House are both entering corporate subscription programs”.

UPDATED: The article has been updated to reflect the company’s distributors.

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Photo Credit: A one bedroom Chicago apartment that special manages and markets. Sonder, a technology-driven travel accommodation company, caters to business travelers through deals with Egencia and TripActions, among other things. Without