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MadeComfy raises $10m to accelerate expansion plans

Australia: New South Wales-based short-term rental property management company MadeComfy has raised $10 million and appointed Simon Lehmann, the former co-founder and chairman of Vacasa Europe and board member of HomeAway, as its chair.

The round – which consists of a combination of venture funding and venture debt – was led by Commencer Capital and supported by MC Fiduciary Pty Ltd, BridgeLane Capital, and a number of private investors, including ex-Amaysim CEO Rolf Hansen and former REA Group CFO Georg Chmiel. Hansen will also take a seat on MadeComfy’s board.

MadeComfy’s platform is designed to enable urban and regional property owners to tap into the high-yielding short-term rental market while it provides travellers, families and corporates with flexible accommodation options at a consistently high-quality standard.

The funds from the round will be used to further expand the company across Australia and drive core upgrades to its technology and data analytics platform. This includes bolstering MadeComfy’s new B2B product and its own booking channel, created over the past couple of years to target corporate and mid-term travellers and driving additional outperformance for property owners.

Weathering the headwinds against the tourism sector from the Covid-19 pandemic, MadeComfy’s business has rebounded over the past year, becoming EBITDA positive and exceeding $20 million in annualised revenue with an annual growth rate of over 120 per cent. 

MadeComfy co-CEO and co-founder, Quirin Schwaighofer, said: “When the Covid-19 pandemic set in, our focus shifted from growth to survival. We knew that retaining our team at all costs would determine our ability to thrive on the other side of the crisis.

“We implemented flexible hours across the workplace, loaned our team members to other startups in surging industries — such as food delivery – and fully utilised JobKeeper.

“The strategy worked, and MadeComfy is now stronger for it. Tourism and corporate travel in this country have bounced back strongly and we’ve fully capitalised on it. Over 250 companies now use our platform to find and book accommodation.

“We’re now unlocking new avenues for growth, including upgrades to our B2B platform, expanding to new locations with New Zealand as our first international expansion, and securing more corporate partners,” he added.

MadeComfy co-CEO and co-founder, Sabrina Schwaighofer, said: “Simon joining our business as chair and Rolf as a board member is the latest form of global validation for our company. Both bring with them decades of global business experience and an understanding of overseas markets that will be invaluable for the business.”

Incoming MadeComfy chair Simon Lehmann said: “The fragmented short-term rental market provides incredible opportunities, and I am honoured to support MadeComfy on its future journey. Its success to date is a testament to the savvy decision-making and leadership of Sabrina and Quirin as they found the right approach to address growth, product quality and technology lead product delivery.”

The capital raise marks the latest achievement in the company’s growth. Since its founding in 2015, MadeComfy has gone on to be named an AFR Fast Starter in 2020 and was awarded the AFR BOSS fourth ‘Best Place to Work in Travel, Retail & Hospitality’ in 2022. In its industry, it has been awarded ‘Best property management company [10 units+]’ in 2020 and ‘Most effective use of social media’ in 2021 by the Shortyz Awards, as well as ASTRA’s 2022 Most inspiring short-term rental manager’.

Commencer Capital managing director and chief investment officer, David Phillips, said: “Commencer Capital [formerly Investec Emerging Companies] started our investment journey with MadeComfy back in 2018. We supported them during the difficult Covid period and have worked very closely with Quirin and Sabrina for many years.

“Our insight into their business made it very easy for us to lead this capital raising and we are also very pleased to now welcome Simon and Rolf alongside us to the board as the company continues on its high growth and profitable trajectory,” he added.

Prior to the latest raise, MadeComfy had raised around $7.5 million in funding over five rounds, with its previous round coming in May 2018.