MetroResidences goes regional S$4 million investment from Rakuten Inc
15 March 2017 – MetroResidences, a curated platform connecting business travellers with high-quality apartments, today announced it has secured an S$4 million (US$2.8 million) funding from Rakuten to spearhead its expansion into major Asian business hubs.
Launched 2.5 years ago, MetroResidences aims is to make corporate stays 30% – 40% more affordable than branded operators while maintaining a consistently high quality stay experience since their customers are from major multi-nationals. MetroResidences does this by connecting a list of highly curated asset owners directly to corporate travellers.
Masatada Kobayashi, Co-Founder and Managing Executive Officer at Rakuten, Inc, shares “In term of business travellers, Asia accounts for than a third of US$1 trillion in annual spending and is the faster growing and a credible research1 states that more than 40% of this group would consider accommodation from Sharing Economy. I am confident MetroResidences can own a piece of this segment in Asia Pacific.”
Within 15 months of receiving S$1million seed funding from 500Startsup, the MetroResidences rental revenue has grown 400% in Singapore, 5x its staff count to 25 all while maintaining profitability.
To date, 118,300 room nights from 500 corporate clients, some from Fortune 500 companies, have been booked in our platform, MetroResidences is now ready to expand its platform into key Asian cities such as Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Lester Kang, Founding Partner and Head of Japan, states that “with the new change in Japan’s home-sharing regulations (Minpaku) expected to be announced late 2017 and highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics 2020, MetroResidences will work with Japanese asset owners, developers and professional operators to offer customer the highest quality serviced accommodation coupled with an unbeatable price.”
Leading up Olympics, Tokyo aims to 4x their tourist arrivals from 10 million (2014) to 40 million (2020). With such a huge arrival increase and an upbeat economy, companies will also be ramping up the effort to prepare for the big event such as the construction of new Olympics Venues where more short-term corporate accommodation will be required.
On a broader note, James Chua Founding Partner and Head of Singapore shares that “MetroResidences has leapfrog itself from a localized accommodation player in Singapore into a regional branded platform.”
“We will be investing heavily in technology that allow will HR Managers a faster way to book their stay corporate stays, optimizing our in-house guest experience where they can use MetroConnect App to connect to food delivery services, order additional room amenities and get neighbourhood guides.”
With an emphasis on quality rather than quantity, all apartments go through a stringent audit and must pass our minimum standards such as ensuring the apartment furniture are in mint condition and even as detailed as providing 300 thread count bed linens.
Should an aircon or fridge breakdown, MetroResidences also provides the guest peace of mind by sending a backup unit within the same day while their maintenance team coordinate repairs.
The founder’s vision of MetroResidences vision is to create a trustworthy hospitality brand where the customer can always expect the greatest stay comfort and authentic customer service without the serviced apartment price markup.