India: Staybazar.com, a marketplace for alternative accommodation options, including serviced apartments, is looking to raise $6 million
Staybazar, which went live in May 2015, features listings of
1,220 properties across 65 cities with a total of 25,000 rooms. It
says that over the past four months, it has sold 750 room nights
and has attracted the attention of two venture capital firms.
"There are many portals for hotel stays. However, there are hardly any dedicated to providing alternative accommodation, such as serviced apartments which are more spacious, affordable and comfortable than hotel rooms in the equivalent category," said Prem Kumar, CEO and CFO of Staybazar.
Staybazar is run by Southern E-Commerce Solutions Pvt Ltd, and was founded by four friends - Prem Kumar, G Anand (business development), Sajeev Kumar (supplier partnerships) and George Padath (CTO).
Staybazar's listings feature a combination of serviced apartments, home stays, theme stays and resort stays.
"We are targeting large corporates, small and medium enterprises and retail customers," said Prem Kumar. "However, our primary focus right now is corporates. We have already signed up with 143 corporate customers and are providing them with accommodation for various needs - from business travel to annual family events, conferences, holidays and staff training. We are targeting 500 corporate customers by December with a minimum billing potential of R10 lakh per customer, per annum."
"The alternative accommodation space is dominated by small players in the informal segment and therefore there is no standardised offering available to customers," he added. "We offer the providers free listing of their properties on Staybazar, visit every property listed on our site to ensure that they maintain our quality standards, and make a commission on each customer transaction."
Staybazar is looking to end its 2015-16 financial year with 2,000 corporate customers and an inventory of 75,000 rooms.