Japanese Short-term rental startup secures $7M in Series B funding round

February 10, 2020
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With the looming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan's tourism is facing record numbers and a shortage in hotel rooms to accommodate the popular even. That's where H20 comes in.

The startup announced it has raised $7 million in Series B funding from Samsung Ventures, Stonebridge Ventures, IMM Investment and Shinhan Capital, bringing its total raised to $18 million.

H2O allows owners to manage operations, housekeeping and bookings from different online travel agencies on its platform, lowering the cost of doing business. The company also recently launched H2O, a vacation rental brand, to expand its real estate development business, including a new hotel near Universal Studio Japan.

The company began in 2015 with Wahome in South Korea, a home cleaning service, before launching H2O two years later after acquiring several hospitality management companies in Japan, including a housekeeping service for vacation rentals. There are currently about 5,000 managed rooms connected to the platform, which is used by about 25 online travel agencies. Since the third-quarter of 2018, revenue has doubled every quarter, says Founder and CEO John Lee.

Lee, who studied hotel administration at Cornell University and previously worked in banking at Morgan Stanley, told TechCrunch in an email that there were three market trends that made launching a hospitality business in Japan compelling.

Read more here.

February 10, 2020

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