#Asia MetroResidences raises US$2.85M to expand corporate stays in Japan and Hong Kong

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The ‘Airbnb for business travellers’ platform previously raised US$1 million in seed funding from 500 Startups

MetroResidences

Singapore-based startup MetroResidences, a platform connecting business travellers with quality apartments, has secured S$4 million (US$2.85 million) in a Series A round led by Rakuten.

It will use the newly-raised capital to expand its presence in two key cities, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

First launched in Singapore in 2014, MetroResidences aims to make corporate stays more affordable. It focusses on optimising the booking and guest service experience via its smartphone app.

Additionally, each apartment is vetted through a stringent audit process, which includes making sure the furniture, neighbourhood, amenities, building’s condition and location are of high standard.

“There is a lot of growth potential for business travel in Asia Pacific as the region alone comprises of 38% of the global business travel. MetroResidences aims to offer the right balance between price-quality ratio in corporate accommodation and offering a consistent MetroResidences experience in every apartment our guests stay in,” said James Chua, Founding Partner and Singapore Head of MetroResidences, in an official press release.

Also Read: Airbnb continues to drive value with Trips, and here are 3 things marketplaces can learn in dominating a niche

MetroResidences claims that, to date, over 115,000 room nights have been booked by 800 corporate clients through the platform. Previously, it received a seed funding of US$1 million from 500 Startups.

In the future, MetroResidences said it may consider partnering with hotel chains, provided they can “extend a high quality to price ratio” to its customers.

But for now, MetroResidences will focus on partnering with asset owners that have apartments located in areas near the business districts or business hubs. It is also looking for suppliers who are keen to use its platform to increase their occupancy rate.

When asked whether the Singapore government’s doubling down on rules restricting short-term ‘Airbnb’-style rentals would affect its business, MetroResidences said that the new guidelines will, on the contrary, work in its favour.

“Currently, the definition of short-term stays in Singapore is defined as stays that fall below the duration of 6 months. [But] unlike Airbnb, MetroResidences does not conduct nightly stays but instead, monthly stays targeted to business travellers. In addition, we do not manage apartments that fall into the category of public housing,” said MetroResidences.

However, MetroResidences’ model of listing only high quality apartment has posed a challenge, with regards to the supply side.

Growing supply side (apartments) in a sustainable manner whilst ensuring that quality is upheld and maintained is of the challenges that we face…therefore, acquisition of corporate apartments on our platform has not been able to increase at an exponential rate.”

Image Credit: MetroResidences

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