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News  6, Apr 2012

Roomorama finds complementary fit with Lofty, merges to expand reach

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The travel industry is definitely the next industry that is set to disrupt, if not already. The limelight on the success of companies like Airbnb which has changed the way vacation rental industry was done has now led to more and more startups innovating the travel industry. Nearer to home, Roomorama, which has a base in Singapore, is one such startup, and has recently merged with Lofty, a similar vacation renting startup based in the states.

Photo: Lofty

According to TechCrunch, backing this merger is a $2.1 million seed round from names that are already connected to the online travel market, including Jose Marin (investor in Russian travel site HipWay and hotel booking site GuestMob), PROfounders CapitalLerer Media Ventures, and Thrive Capital Partners.

Mergers are good. Not only does both companies leverage on each other’s resources to overcome its limitation, it would also result in having a wider reach, thus standing a higher chance to build a long lasting company. With more and more startups sprouting out everyday, startups generally have a tough time making it big. For every startup that made it, there must be hundreds more that are shut down. Instead of fighting against one another for the fixed amount of market share, which might end up causing more harm, in my opinion, it is definitely wise to see how startups can help one another if they complement each other.

For Roomorama and Lofty, both focus on the mid-range to high-end travel market, and since Roomorama had the customers but lacked inventory; and Lofty had inventory but not enough customers to fill it, the merger made sense. Adding on to the factor of merger between the two is the complementary fit geographically: Roomorama is based in Singapore and does a lot of business in Asia, while Grinda says that a full third of Lofty’s business is in the U.S. with another third in Europe.

A while back we did an interview with the cofounder of Roomorama, Federico Folcia to find out about their expansion plans to Asia. Federico will also be speaking at our Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan Echelon Satellite event.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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