Andes STR raises $1m in seed funding for Orlando expansion

Chile / US: Texas-based short-term rental property management company Andes STR has raised $1 million in seed funding from Chilean investment firm Weg Capital to accelerate its expansion plans in the United States.

The proptech startup, which offers personalised property management services to real estate investors looking to earn higher income from their investment properties, will use the funding to acquire 80 luxury units in Orlando and lease them out on Airbnb.

Having launched at the University of Chicago’s Booth School, Andes STR received in excess of $660,000 from the school’s New Venture Challenge in June, and it claims to have developed a specific algorithm designed to maximise the return on investment for its investors.

Founder Sebastian Rivas said that Andes STR aims to cut the time spent on finding and buying properties from more than 200 hours down to two hours, and takes on the hassle of furnishing and managing the properties too. The idea for the startup originated from his own “excruciating” process of buying such properties.

Speaking to Poets & Quants, Rivas said: “It took me months to learn everything I needed to learn, a couple more months to find a decent deal, a couple of weeks to arrange the financing, and the whole process was super stressful. And then managing the property myself was simply impossible with the long hours I was working at the time.

“I handed the property off to a management company, but they did an awful job taking care of it: I literally got a call from the police at 2am on a Wednesday notifying me that there was a shooting in my apartment!

“At that point, I asked myself: “Why isn’t there a trustworthy company that can take care of everything for me?” I was not only fed up, but also motivated to help others so they don’t have to go through the same ordeal,” he added.

Rivas added that he is also planning to use the investment to drive customer acquisition, build an app and improve the Andes STR algorithms.