Selina is the blended lifestyle hospitality brand that exploded out of Latin America in 2015. The company has since raised $350 million in capital set for ambitious expansion in U.S. and European cities. The aim is to be in 400+ cities and 130,000 beds by 2023.
WeWork founder Adam Neumann was behind Salina’s $95 million financing round back in April of 2018.
The hospitality “platform”, as Selina CEO Rafael Museri calls it, caters to digital nomads with all-inclusive co-live (singles if you want them offering a range of room types) and co-working amenities. Some have described it as a modern “backpakery” 2-3 star hostel chain.
Bookable activities, local transport, and retail products have also been worked into the brand’s digital DNA. Guests staying at the Selina Monteverde, Costa Rica location, for example, can book canopy tours, yoga classes, tours of sugar cane processing plants, etc. via the website or app.
Selina has now announced the official launch of Luna, a new loyalty program available across all 51 locations in Latin America and in Europe (luna means moon in Spanish). The program is unique in that members can earn points on local volunteer work, in addition to staying and playing at Selina locations.
“At Selina, we have a strong global community of return guests, and our new loyalty program allows us to reward them for staying, playing, working and dreaming with us,” said Museri in the press release. Community building is all the rage in hospitality with members-only clubs blending curated activities with local cultural connection.
“As our Selina platform continues to expand around the world, we love seeing guests return to explore new locations with us,” said Bay Hudner, Selina Head of Loyalty and Membership. “Luna is a way to recognize these fans and another means to cultivate meaningful connections, joy, comfort, and adventure for our guests. We’re excited to work together as partners with our loyalty program members, to build the best Selina experience possible.”
The Luna loyalty program is built into the Selina app. Every time guests book or do volunteer work, the wallet in the app keeps track of your tokens (10 tokens for every dollar), which are then redeemable for complementary beverages, wellness activities, and retail.
How Selina aims to scale, source, and curate these impact activities will likely involve webs of local partners that are also interested in marketing products and services to Selina guests. This sounds like a lot of work with little direct upside, but could be an effective hook to capture new loyalty member enrollments.
‘Bringing guests closer to local communities’ is now a common marketing message deployed by hospitality brands large and small. Offering volunteer activities at just a few Selina locations could be enough to fuel the outbound marketing message.
Luna is also great content for the investor deck. Loyalty programs are the rage with new hospitality upstarts that have attracted significant VC investments. Napkin math suggests that Selina will need to raise more capital to go from 50 to 400+ locations in just four years.