Inspirato: Reimagining Luxury Travel

By Todd Chaffee

Today we are honored to congratulate CEO Brent Handler, President David Kallery, and the entire team at Inspirato on a successful public listing (Nasdaq: ISPO). This marks the 131st IVP portfolio company to go public.

Inspirato is transforming luxury travel by providing exceptional vacations for affluent travelers through an innovative subscription platform while ensuring attractive economics for Inspirato real estate and hospitality partners around the world.

It all started with a bad vacation on Maui

In 2002, Brent and his brother Brad had meticulously planned a “luxury” family vacation on Maui, but it was a disaster in many ways. Frustrated with their experience, they returned home and decided to do something about it. Brent and Brad founded Exclusive Resorts as a private luxury travel club that combined the space and character of private vacation homes with the personalized service and amenities of a luxury hotel.

After a few years of rapid membership growth, the company amassed more than $1 billion in real estate assets and had tens of thousands of satisfied members worldwide.  Then in January 2011, Brent and Brad launched Inspirato as a technology driven travel company that could grow even faster, deliver luxury vacations to an even larger number of travelers, and truly disrupt the $135 billion luxury travel market.

Farewell uncertainty, hello vacation bliss

Many travelers around the world have experienced the pain of “vacation roulette,” spending hours researching and planning a vacation, only to discover lackluster accommodations and poor service upon arrival.   Inspirato removes this uncertainty, consistently delivering unforgettable luxury travel experiences that deepen relationships and create enduring memories.

IVP knew the Inspirato founders from our prior investments in the travel industry and saw the company’s potential. We also knew that Brent, Brad, and David were talented entrepreneurs able to build a company from concept to IPO, so we led Inspirato’s Series B and joined the Board in January 2012.

Scaling quickly with an industry changing business model

Since our initial investment, the Company has assembled a curated portfolio of exclusively managed luxury vacation homes and villas (425 and counting) and more than 420 five-star hotel and resort partners in over 230 destinations around the world.

With the launch of Inspirato Pass in 2019, the company has created a high visibility, industry changing business model with a compelling consumer value proposition.  Inspirato Pass is the world’s first luxury travel subscription service inclusive of nightly rates, taxes, and fees.

Constantly updated, the Inspirato Pass trip list features over 1.8 million trips, ranging from Inspirato residences and hotel partners to custom experiences such as luxury cruises and African safaris. Subscribers simply browse the list, book their trip, enjoy their stay, wait a specified number of Pass Days until their trip is fully reserved, then book their next trip.  All nightly rates, taxes and fees are included in their subscription fee. On the arrival date for each vacation, they simply check-in, enjoy their stay and check-out.

Inspirato Pass includes all the benefits of the Company’s original Club subscription model, including the highly personalized service that serves as a hallmark since Inspirato’s inception.

Your choice: all you can travel or pay as you go.

In addition to offering consumers a better way to travel, Inspirato Pass also solves critical pain points for hotels and resorts. In addition to straightforward pricing, luxury hotels benefit by selling their excess capacity through Inspirato at a great value in exchange for access to this highly efficient distribution channel.

As the Inspirato Pass subscription business accelerates, Inspirato continues to profitably grow its top line through a “pay as you go” Club subscription as well. Inspirato Club subscribers pay a low monthly fee for access to the full Inspirato portfolio of luxury properties and travel services and then pay attractive member-only nightly room rates.

Since the Company’s inception, Inspirato has generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue, with Inspirato Pass subscribers and Inspirato Club subscribers booking more than 750,000 total nights to date.

Today Inspirato reached another critical milestone by going public through a SPAC merger with Thayer Ventures Acquisition Corp.  As Inspirato continues to expand its product lines and grow globally with its innovative approach to the travel market, we anticipate that the company will have a bright future and remarkable growth for many years to come.

Todd Chaffee is a Partner at IVP, a venture capital firm focused on growth.