MadeComfy, a property management startup out of Sydney has recently ended its latest funding round with $6 million led by Investec Australia. Co-founders Quirin Schwaighofer and Sabrina Bethunin say they have their eyes on the big picture—international expansion.
MadeComfy was launched in 2015 and manages properties on short-term leases, organizing quest bookings, and provides maintenance for properties listed on sites like Airbnb.
MadeComfy, according to its founders, has grown at a rate of 500% year-over-year, currently managing around 600 properties, housing 4,000 guests a month.
The founders have yet to release exact figures, but they have confirmed that Investec had provided more than $5 million in the funding round with the rest of the funding coming from existing investors. Before this round, MadeComfy ended another one in July of last year ending with $1.1 million.
Schwaighofer stated that they weren't looking for investment but that Investex came to them. The founders had been looking for business partners.
The MadeComfy team had been in communication with Investec at the beginning, and Schwiaghofer says they felt "very aligned" from the start.
“We know them as a company, and how they have supported their previous investments,” he says.
The company plans to use the extra money for expansion. Bethunin says MadeComfy's business model has proven itself successful in the two-and-a-half years since its establishment in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
“We’re going to invest a lot in strengthening our infrastructure, developing a new model to go regional — and international,” she says.
"The growth of the startup is indicative of the property market in Australia at the moment," Schwaighofer says. In Sydney, for example, it has become “more and more difficult to afford property."
“The majority of [MadeComfy] customers are paying a mortgage,” he says.
For people in Australia, a short-term least provides a "great way of enabling Australians to own properties and hold them," not sell them.
According to an analysis from Crunchbase News, this trend seems to be global. The analysis listed 10 US real estate startups that have raised between US$3 million and US$60 million over the past year, with most being based out of San Francisco or New York, regions where real estate markets are harder for young people or first-time buyers to break into.
Though this research is based on statistics in the States, there are several Australian startups raising significant funds in the real estate market.
According to MadeComfy's co-founders, their success stems from a focus on both customers and revenue. Scheaighofer has an old saying, "the best investors are always the customers," and has advice for other startups looking to breach into the real estate sector: "Focus on revenue and focus on growth," instead of worrying about debt, and expect the unexpected.
He says: “Never, ever give up. Every day, every week, every month, something is happening that you don’t expect.”
Join us in Miami from the 20th to the 22nd of June for the Global Online Marketplaces Summit. Our summit theme is From Classifieds to Marketplaces – Capturing Value from the Transaction and we’ll hear from Global Leaders who are creating the Online Marketplaces of Tomorrow.