Hometime (www.hometime.io), a Sydney-based property management company for the short-term rental market, including Airbnb, has closed a $1.5 million seed funding round led by technology accelerators Asia Principal Capital (APC). Additional investors in the round include marketing experts with specific expertise in scaling large digital customer acquisition as well as real estate industry leaders.
Launched in 2016 by founders Dave Thompson and Will Crock, Hometime’s property management and housekeeping platform allows hosts to “put their Airbnb properties on autopilot”
by handling each aspect of the hosting experience whilst delivering superior returns.
“Will and I started this business as we saw the tremendous growth Airbnb was experiencing in Australia, with Sydney being its fifth largest market globally,” Thompson said.
“As a host myself, I could see the pain point of handling guest enquiries, bookings, inventory management across multiple platforms, arranging property access, and cleaning and linen changes. We saw the opportunity to build a platform that can scale to many thousands of properties across Australia and the region.”
The capital will be invested in driving further growth in Sydney and Melbourne, and opening up new markets as well as enhancing an already sophisticated technology stack to include an owner dashboard, which will provide more transparency for hosts to review their earnings, occupancy and guest reviews.
Hometime has serviced over 500 unique properties and has welcomed thousands of guests across Sydney and Melbourne.
“We set out to automate as much as possible. The measure of our success is ultimately the five- star reviews our owners repeatedly enjoy, and the increased yield they attain through our sophisticated pricing and occupancy optimisation. There is no reason property owners cannot enjoy the same benefits that technology has brought to the hotel industry,” Crock said.
Thompson said Hometime had a technological edge over its competitors. “There have been new entrants in the space, however the key to success is the ability to scale without compromising service delivery. We have built sophisticated back- end technology that allows us to deliver a high-quality personalised hosting experience at scale.”
Martin Dalgleish from APC, a renowned technology investor and director, who has been appointed to the Board of Hometime, said:
“We were aware of the many new platforms both globally and in Australia to service the rapidly developing short-term property rental market. Hometime impressed because of its level
of technology driven platform approach, and the calibre of the founders to execute on their plans. We see Hometime becoming a dominant player across the entire Australian market in the very short-term.”
The demand for Airbnb services in Australia shows no signs of abating with 8.5 million tourists to Australia in the past 12 months spending nearly $40 billion, Thompson said.
As at June 2017 Airbnb had 115,000 listings for rooms or entire homes to be rented in Australia, with 60 per cent of Sydney’s 20,000 Airbnb listings for entire homes, according to The University of NSW data.