Casai has acquired Roomin in Brazil [Credit: Roomin]

Casai debuts in Florianópolis with Roomin acquisition in Brazil

Mexico / Brazil: Mexican smart lodging startup Casai has made its second acquisition in Brazil in the space of five months with the purchase of Florianópolis-based rental startup Roomin.

It follows the proptech’s acquisition of the Brazilian operations of Danish firm Q Apartments in August, and will support Casai’s overall strategy to grow its footprint in Brazil.

Although details of the Roomin deal were not disclosed, Casai is believed to be investing 30 million Brazilian reales in its Florianópolis expansion, with more cities being targeted for 2022.

The Roomin purchase increases Casai’s portfolio by up to 100 apartments in downtown Florianópolis and in the region of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, as well as in beachside neighbourhoods, including Jurerê, Cachoeira do Bom Jesus, Ingleses and Campeche.

Casai debuted in Brazil in May by launching its operations in São Paulo and two months later in Rio de Janeiro, before pledging to invest BRL 100 million over the coming years in its growth strategy in the country, in addition to its plans in the rest of Latin America [LatAm].

According to the startup, the Brazilian operations now account for more than 50 per cent of its growing global portfolio.

Expansion director Daniel Hermann said: “Casai’s coming to Florianópolis is strategic for the company’s positioning in Brazil, since the city is an important tourist destination, and a national innovation centre. Besides, we know that the location factor is crucial to provide a good experience to the final guest and Roomin is present in the best neighbourhoods on the island.”

Casai also recently announced the launch of a residential real estate fund in partnership with Brazilian broker Navi, with BRL 9.1 billion under management. The fund is to be structured with XP Investimentos and will be specifically dedicated to monetising Casai’s short-term rental properties.

When it launched in October last year, Casai secured the largest Series A round by a company in Mexico, raising $48 million in equity and debt financing.

At the time, it set out with the goal to build a “new vision for hospitality in Latin America” and set a “high standard of excellence with luxurious amenities, stunning locally-sourced design and sophisticated smart technology”. The idea behind this was to create something of a middle ground between a hotel and an Airbnb apartment, providing the suitable flexibility for young professionals and digital nomads, but not compromising on quality standards or amenities either.

Each intelligent Casai unit offers keyless check-in, Chromecast-powered TVs, and high-speed wifi that can all be controlled through the company’s app. The startup also partnered with Loopkey to integrate smart lock technology with its proprietary technology and smart hardware hub, Butler.

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