Japan: Tokyo-based startup Matsuri Technologies, which develops rental property management software to manage and operate private accommodation, has announced that it has raised two billion yen [approximately US$16 million] in Series C funding.
The round was led by DG Incubation, with participation from JIC Venture Growth Investments, and six major real estate companies.
Using its motto of “changing the shape of “everything” and “living” with technology”, Matsuri Technologies converts vacant accommodation into short-term rental stays and maximises the value of space with technology. The startup expects to use the funding to recruit for further growth, develop its StayX platform and corporate serviced apartment brand StayMe, and invest in its newly-launched resort brand S-Villa.
Founded in 2016, Matsuri was heavily affected by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, when inbound guests accounted for around 85 per cent of the company’s sales. Since then, the company’s fortunes have taken on an upward trajectory after launching a number of new businesses, including its S-Villa business, which allowed Matsuri to triple its sales in the space of two years.
Matsuri’s StayX platform is designed to manage properties more efficiently so that guests can check in and check out as seamlessly as possible with just a smartphone. The Series C round will enable the company to expand the StayX brand across Japan, creating a society where people can “choose a place to live more freely and live comfortably”.
Meanwhile, it is anticipated that Matsuri will grow its more recently-launched S-Villa brand into resort areas of Japan, such as Nasu and Izu.
Finally, the company will continue to develop its StayMe higher-grade condominium brand, which can be used for leisure or business trips, or for training purposes. On average, stays range between one night and longer-term stays up to one month.
Matsuri believes that it is well positioned to capitalise on a prediction that one in three houses will be vacant in 2038 due to a decrease in the number of people over time.
Hideki Kaorumizu, CEO of JIC Venture Growth Investments, said: “Matsuri Technologies operates real estate vacancies as a hybrid of accommodation and short-term rental based on proprietary technology services. By doing so, the accommodation industry can be operated with a high occupancy rate and low-cost operation even in the Corona pandemic, and a sustainable business structure can be created.
“We highly evaluated the planning and execution ability to quickly introduce new services that are beneficial to both users and asset management, such as returning to Japan. Through investment in Matsuri Technologies, we will reduce the population and depopulate.
“To solve a wide range of real estate-related issues, such as the utilisation of real estate mainly in rural areas, the maintenance and development of accommodation businesses that are stagnant due to the Corona disaster, and the spread of a new lifestyle of employment through the spread of remote work. We are pleased to be able to work together,” added Kaorumizu.
To date, the company has raised $5.6 million in investment from ten different investors, just over a year after closing a Series B funding round.