Life House CEO Resigns as Hotel Startup Faces Complaints

Life House ceo Rami Zeidan speaking at skift future of lodging event in 2022

Skift Take

Reports suggest that Life House, the startup that Rami Zeidan founded in 2017, is facing a wave of complaints from the hotel owners who use its software and services. A new CEO could give the company a fresh start.

Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House, has resigned from the hotel startup, according to a letter to shareholders sent Monday and seen by Skift.

Zeidan’s departure was first reported by The Information, which published an article on February 14 that described dissatisfaction among Life House’s customers.

“Out of the roughly 50 hotels that are actively using Life House to manage their operations, at least a third have attempted to terminate their contracts with the startup in recent months,” the article claimed.

Life House responded that it has “another 70 clients that use a software product to help manage their revenues and that customer satisfaction is high for that product.”

A look at Life House’s Glassdoor reviews from about a dozen employees in the past year shows several anonymously complaining about internal turmoil and citing complaints by hotel owners.

Life House’s rapid rise

Zeidan founded Life House in 2017. The company, which had raised more than $100 million according to Crunchbase, had essentially two sides to its business. A small one was running branded hotels on behalf of owners.

The other was providing business-to-business software for hotel owners to help them boost profitability by streamlining operations and tasks such as revenue management. Hotel owners varied in the degree to which they leaned on Life House’s services over the years.

For a brief time, Booking Holdings’ Kayak had partnered with Life House to create Kayak-branded hotels. Kayak even participated in a round of fundraising. Kayak’s first hotel opened in 2021 as the Kayak Miami Beach. But by the end of 2022, Kayak decided to exit the business, with plans to remove the Kayak branding from its three hotels later this year.

Christopher Cave will be the interim CEO, the company said Monday. Cave had been the CEO of online travel agency FlightHub through December. Marc Ghobriel was named the new interim chief financial officer.

“Life House continues to represent a significant opportunity in the accommodations category, particularly as it pertains to small hotels,” said the letter to board members Monday. “We are excited to build on Rami’s incredible vision and work with the world-class team he assembled over the years.”

“We are confident this new leadership will steer Life House towards a bright, customer-centric future,” said the shareholder letter. It notes that a revised strategic plan will be coming.

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Kayak Bows Out of Opening Lifestyle Hotels Under Its Own Brand

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