ZEN Rooms, a leading online budget hotels aggregator in Southeast Asia, has raised a US$4.1 million in Series A round of funding from leading investors Redbadge Pacific, the Asia-Pacific arm of US-based VC firm Redbadge and SBI Investment Korea.

Asia Pacific Internet Group, which participated in the company’s previous funding, has also joined this round.

The Singapore-headquartered startup will use the funding to further expand its operations across Asia as well as launch new features.

With this investment, ZEN Rooms’s total equity financing to date has touched US$8 million.

ZEN Rooms Co-founder Kiren Tanna

ZEN Rooms Co-founder Kiren Tanna

Started in 2015 with a debut in Jakarta, ZEN Rooms is a budget hospitality company, with presence in eight countries, more than 40 cities and 1,000-plus locations.

ZEN Rooms’ franchise improves local, independent budget accommodation providers (hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, apartments) through quality controls, operational improvements, data analysis, innovation and economies of scale. ZEN’s en-suite double rooms with A/C and Wi-Fi start at only US$10 all included.

Kiren Tanna, ZEN Rooms’s Co-founder and Global Managing Director, said: “We founded ZEN in 2015 to put an end to widespread, unreliable low-cost stays in Indonesia. Since then, we have become the top-rated budget accommodation franchise in the region and expanded to eight countries.”

In March last year, the company expanded to Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. A few weeks later, it made an entry into Brazil.

Also Read: Building an international business: What I learned founding ZEN Rooms from scratch

“We are already bringing much-needed customer-centric innovation with the likes of pay-at-hotel, self check-in kiosks, and more in the pipeline. For many hotels, we are now managing all their rooms on commercial and ops processes including data-driven pricing, distribution and corporate sales, something that many independent hotels are not able to do themselves. This funding round is now an important milestone to consolidate our early leadership and launch more features to modern temporary budget accommodation in Southeast Asia,’’ Tanna added.

Hanno Stegmann, CEO of APACIG adds: “ZEN Rooms is a highly promising company within our portfolio, efficiently addressing the large problem of budget travel reliability & safety in emerging markets. In less than two years, ZEN has now become the best value-for-money option to travel in South-East Asia and a concrete alternative to the region’s existing hotel chains.”

Redbadge Pacific is the Asia-Pacific arm of Redbadge, a US-based private investment firm that provides capital and strategically works with innovative growth and expansion-stage companies. SBI Investment Korea is the first venture capital house in South Korea, with 30 years of history.

Image Credit: ZEN Rooms


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