Hi there! My name is Jay Roberts and welcome to my website. I’m the founder and CEO of Domio, a technology platform that is building the future of travel. As a startup CEO, I get asked about my background quite frequently.
Early life and education
I was born on March 30, 1985, in Seoul, South Korea, under the name Jung Hyun Suk. I lived in an orphanage for the first three months of my life because my biological parents were too poor to raise a child.
At three months old, I was adopted by an American family and immigrated to Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. My family moved from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Long Beach, California, when I was three years old, and eventually settled in Seal Beach, California.
I was raised by a single mother who worked as a secretary. I have a non-biological sister named Leslie. I attended Los Alamitos High School, where I played football. My parents both tragically died my senior year of college.
I was the first in my family to attend college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. With a passion for real estate, I earned my MBA at NYU Stern School of Business.
After graduating business school, I worked in real estate investment banking and acquisitions. I worked as an investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, where I specialized in institutional real estate mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and capital markets transactions. My team led the MGM Growth Properties $1.2 billion IPO, which was the largest real estate IPO of 2016. My team also led Paramount Group’s $2.6 billion IPO, which is the largest REIT IPO in U.S. history.
Prior to my work at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, I worked at Training The Street. At this position, I taught investment banking analysts at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Evercore financial modeling and Excel best practices.
I started Domio, a technology platform focused on the travel sector, in the summer of 2016 with Adrian Lam. I was inspired to start Domio when I was renting out a spare bedroom in my apartment near Times Square. As a host, I realized travelers were seeking human connection and an authentic travel experience.
Domio serves apartment-hotel accommodations to group travelers and has raised $67 million in funding as of November 2018. Most recently, the company raised $12 million in Series A funding from Tribeca Venture Partners and SoftBank NY. As of January 2019, Domio has hosted more than 100,000 guests across Austin, San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston and Nashville.