[Hong Kong, October 25, 2017] – GuestReady, a PropTech startup in the urban short-term rental management space, has closed an HK$24 million in seed funding in order to expand its business to new markets and services. Currently operating in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Paris, the startup plans to use the funds to further develop the mid-term rental market in Hong Kong as well as reaching eight more global cities by Summer 2018. GuestReady also announced the acquisition of Easy Rental Services, a former competitor in London and Paris.
The funding round was led by Impulse VC, with participation from Xponova and Boost Heroes, the VC firm led by Fabio Cannavale, founder of the Lastminute Group, among others. Existing investors including Swiss Founders Fund and Senn & Partners also renewed their investments. GuestReady plans to use the fresh funding to fuel its expansion and cement its position as the leading short-term rental management company globally.
In keeping with their vision of using technology to help property owners unlock the full potential of their real estates, GuestReady has acquired a portfolio of about 600 apartments, since its launch in August 2016. The company operates across five cities globally and has already welcomed over 20,000 travelers from over 120 countries into their apartments in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, and Paris. Initially started as an on-demand platform for individual activities like cleaning, laundry, and managing the check-in and check-out of guests, GuestReady now focuses exclusively working with fully managed, business-travelers-ready properties that go for monthly bookings.
Lou Chan, Co-Founder and Managing Director for Hong Kong, says that GuestReady’s aim is to become a strategic partner to each of its clients. “The success of our clients and the satisfaction of their guests is of prime importance to us. In order to provide an even better service to our clients, we are also very happy to announce that we have acquired Easy Rental Services, which has, over the last three years, built a strong name for itself in London and Paris. We are now working on bringing our service to property owners in eight more global cities before Summer 2018,” he says.
The company’s main focus over the past year, besides bolstering its presence across its markets, has been to develop a product that provides the property owners full visibility and control over the calendars and financials of their properties. It syncs real time with sales-side platforms like Airbnb and provides a lean logistical setup that allows it to minimize the turnaround time between guests. GuestReady takes a percentage of the earnings from the apartments as a management fee, as opposed to the hefty fees that traditional property agents have infamously become known to charge.
Beyond geographical expansion, GuestReady is also planning a move further into the B2B space by building a product backend to automate and streamline property management tasks. Whereas the hotel industry has over the years developed specialized tools for managing their operations, the real estate industry has itself not progresses much on this note, and there exists a huge market for such a service. It is clear that GuestReady has already built a headstart on the enormous task of closing the gap between the vacation rental industry, serviced apartments, and traditional hotels.