MetroResidences secures US$2.8 million funding from Rakuten

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 10 April 2017

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Singapore: MetroResidences is set for expansion to key Asian business cities after raising US$2.8 million in series A funding from Rakuten.

Launched in mid-2014, the start-up rents out fully furnished apartments to corporate travellers.
   
The company doesn't own assets, but works with private property owners or large asset management companies. MetroResidences furnishes the apartments, as well as the viewing, leasing, and maintenance. It charges owners property management and marketing fees but no commission on rentals or user booking fees.

"We offer a consistent experience in a variety of locations for our corporate clients," said co-founder James Chua. "We are very stringent in only selecting the best apartments to be listed on our platform."

The company offers a 24-hour money back guarantee to ensure that all photos and descriptions on the site portray an accurate representation of the properties.

MetroResidences has 400-plus apartments in its portfolio. To date, more than 115,000 room nights have been booked by 800 corporate clients through the platform.

It plans to open offices in Tokyo, where Rakuten is headquartered, and then Hong Kong.

"One of Rakuten's main business is Rakuten Travel, and they have a strong infrastructure and business network of the travel segment that we want to penetrate. With this partnership, we hope to gain faster market access into the Asian cities where we want to scale," said James.

"The MetroResidences team is on track to develop a strong market share with their unique commitment to sharing economy accommodation," says Rakuten co-founder and managing executive officer Masatada Kobayashi.

James says they will heavily invest in improving the technology further.

"For the large corporates, we want to simplify the process an HR manager goes through to book serviced apartments. Some of our clients may have up to 200 new staff they need to put into apartments and we want our platform to cater to volume bookings. As for the guest app, we want it to replicate the hotel phone where our guests can use the app to make a request with our front desk, book an Uber, or order in-room dining through our food delivery partners," said James.

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