Casai acquires Brazilian operations of Q Apartments

Paul Stevens Paul Stevens Uploaded 09 August 2021

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Mexico / Brazil: Mexico City-based short-term rental tech startup Casai is expanding into the corporate serviced apartment industry by acquiring the Brazilian operations of Danish firm Q Apartments.

The acquisition will allow Casai to multiply its Brazilian portfolio immediately and leverage its expertise in short-stay operations to meet the quickly recovering demand in the B2B segment. In addition, Casai will become the primary operating partner for Q Apartments’ business throughout the rest of Latin America.

Earlier this year, Casai launched its brand in Brazil, first in the city of São Paulo, and then in Rio de Janeiro two months later.

The startup also teamed up with equity and real estate hedge fund, Navi, and investment management firm XP Investimentos to issue a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT] focused on short-term rentals. The REIT is expected to float on the Brazilian stock exchange by the end of 2021.

Even though such investment vehicles are common in the United States, REITs are believed to represent only one per cent of investments in Brazil. For this reason, Casai believes its partnership with Navi and XP will set a precedent in the Brazilian market, as it will allow the company to bring its seamless guest experience to more neighbourhoods and cities in the country and prove to existing and future investors that it is in it for the long haul.

Casai CEO Nico Barawid said: “Brazil will be our biggest operating market by the end of the year. We have closed these long-term alliances to bring us one step closer to our goal of redefining the way the world travels.

“We are honoured that our partners have seen potential in our vision and recognise our shared
standards for excellence,” he added.

In Q2 alone, Casai claims that its footprint in Brazil grew 5.5 times. Leveraging this growth rate as a stepping stone, the tech company is now expanding further with the Q Apartments Brazilian portfolio acquisition and by managing the new properties monetised by the REIT with Navi.

Casai operates hundreds of units across São Paulo’s most exclusive commercial and residential districts, including Jardins, Itaim Bibi, Pinheiros and Vila Olímpia. In addition, it has a footprint in well-known touristic areas such as Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro.

With more than 65,000 apartments in its portfolio spread across 81 countries and 147 cities, Q Apartments combines industry expertise with local knowledge to create tailored solutions for a diverse range of businesses in its main markets, including Latin America and Europe.

Q Apartments COO Thiago Hahn said: “We will combine our strength in corporate relocations with Casai’s operational expertise to continue to provide current and future guests with the best experience. We believe that Casai is the ideal partner thanks to its high quality portfolio and operational excellence, in addition to its exponential growth in Latin America.”

Casai’s business model consists of working directly with real estate developers and funds to deliver “beautifully designed apartments in the best neighbourhoods”. Each unit is carefully curated and equipped with smart-home technology and local art to provide a unique experience to every Casai guest.

Last October, the emerging markets hospitality brand announced a $48 million funding round, marking the largest Series A raised by a company in Mexico and one of the largest in Latin America.

Backed by investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Kaszek Ventures, and Monashees Capital, the company has around 600 apartments in its global portfolio operating in additional cities like Mexico City and Tulum.

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