GuestReady, an Airbnb property management platform led by Rocket Internet alumni Alexander Limpert and Wen Dee Tan has raised S$1 million (US$700,000) in a round led by Swiss Founders Fund; Senn & Partner Holding Ltd, a Swiss real estate development and investment company; and Georg Bauser, former director at Airbnb.
It will use the newly-raised capital to ramp up product development and hiring efforts.
The startup was founded in August this year. It provides Airbnb property management services including key handling, housekeeping, listing creation, guest communication and yield management. It is currently available in six major cities including Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
Airbnb hosting is still a legal grey area in some cities such as Singapore. In fact, it’s technically still illegal to sublet homes for less than a period of six months in Singapore, although a last check shows there are still around 300 Airbnb listings in the city state. And in New York, it has been outright banned recently.
When pressed on whether this issue would pose a problem to GuestReady, Limpert had this to say:
“We are keeping an eye on developments and we’re actively engaging in the discussion. It’s important to note that GuestReady is only a service provider to Airbnb hosts and not a host itself. So far, all of our hosts have been aware of the regulatory environment when we’ve pointed out the situation in the respective country during the on-boarding process.
“By vetting the guests (we require reviews and a valid ID among other things) and providing guidance and assistance for guests during their stay, we can avoid potential troubles for the host and neighbours.
“Lastly, we believe platforms like Airbnb or HomeAway are here to stay. Even where they’ve been declared illegal there are plenty of listings online. Regulators and Airbnb (et al.) will have to find a way to address the issues at hand rather than taking the extreme route of trying to shut down a grass-root movement.”
Image Credit: GuestReady