“Has anyone used Sonder to book rooms?” began one post on an online discussion forum. “They have good prices and contactless check in. Thanks!”
“They do background checks and use facial recognition, and they’ve canceled the room last minute and banned multiple SW,” reads the top-voted reply.
“SW” is the forum’s abbreviation for “Sex Worker”, the class of laborer to which the forum is dedicated. It’s an online space in which sex workers of various stripes can consult each other anonymously for advice, vent about annoying clients, and otherwise engage in discussion about the world’s oldest profession.
Sonder, meanwhile, is a tech-focused hotel startup. Sonder seeks to offer ‘hotel amenities without hotel formality’, as the company describes its mission on its website. For sex workers, it offers much the same kind of temporary workspace as those found on Airbnb, and a similar lack of scrutiny – or at least it used to.
Millions in Funding, and a New KYC Tool
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