Airbnb continues to be an ecosystem in its own claim, with a number of startups building a business by making the lives of hosts easier and potentially most lucrative. One such firm is London-based Hostmaker, an upmarket Airbnb management service, which today is announcing $15 million in Series B funding.
The round is led by Sansiri, one of Thailand’s largest payment real estate developers, and Gaw Capital, a Hong Kong-based world hospitality real estate investor. Existing backers DN Capital, Ventech, and DSGCP also participated.
Founded in 2014 by Nakul Sharma after he and his wife became so-called Airbnb “superhosts” and following study he conducted during his previous role in the inn manufacture, Hostmaker is described as a tech-driven hospitality control company.
Put simply, the startup aims to remove the hassle homeowners face when finagling short-term rentals, and provisions an array of related assistances, from housekeeping by five-star inn trained staff, professional photography, daily pricing evaluations, guest relations and vetting, to interior design. It too facilitates owned enumerates across multiple short-stay platforms including Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
“Hostmaker was born out of new ideas that I had after co-writing a newspaper on Airbnb’s impact on the inn manufacture, whilst I was still working at the Intercontinental Hotels Group, ” Sharma tells me. “I have concluded that while it could be seen as security threats, it should be a priority for the industry to seek ways to integrate this new type of traveling into their business frameworks. I belief, why not draw high quality hospitality to the homestay know? The top control, nonetheless, did not appreciate Airbnb as anything more than a flash in the pan”.
A flash in the pan, Airbnb wasn’t, and that was inspiration enough for he and his wife, who is Director and Head of Accounts at Hostmaker, to test the concept for a hospitality management busines serving short-stay hosts.
“[ We] is currently being Airbnb superhosts and familiar with the programme and the potential questions that multitudes may face when telling their residence on Airbnb. So, we moved out of our own dwelling that we had just bought, and into a rented flat !, ” he says. “We applied our dwelling as a testing lab so that we could better understand how to solve the challenges that the 25,000 Airbnb-ers in London were facing. In January 2014, I decided it was time to focus solely on Hostmaker. Putting PS50, 000 of my own fund into the business, and discontinuing my work, Hostmaker was officially launched”.
Hostmaker says it has carried out over 150,000 services across Europe, growing at a rate of 400 per cent year-on-year. It currently operates in London, Paris, Rome and Barcelona, and says the new round of such investments will support the startup’s sustained tech developed as “proprietary pricing and business applications, ” as well as growth and stretch beyond Europe, with its focus on Asia.
On competition in the Airbnb hospitality management space — which in Europe includes Airsorted and Bnbsitter — Sharma had this to say: “We were the first ones to recognize the possibilities of because of my deep research into Airbnb’s impact on hotels. None of the founders of other business draw this background and hence they seem to be building more opportunistic ventures that are more akin to property administration companionships while our ambition is to build a “Hilton for Homes”: a payment labelled homestay hospitality service that cares about the dwelling, the homeowner and the guests”.