MadeComfy, a Sydney-based startup helping property owners tap into the shared accommodation market, has attracted $1.1 million in funding from a quintet of investors including LinkedIn (ANZ & SEA) MD Cliff Rosenberg.
The other four investors are Amaysim co-founders Rolf Hansen and Peter O’Connell, Investec Australia MD Hein Vogel and Airtasker investor/advisor Manfred Hasseler, with all five joining MadeComfy’s advisory board.
Launched in 2015, MadeComfy is a tech-enabled, end-to-end management service for home owners and property investors seeking to generate an income from short-term rentals, including bookings made through Airbnb and other sites. The shareconomy startup currently manages over 300 properties across Sydney and has seen its revenue increase by more than 500% over the last 12 months.
COO Quirin Schwaighofer, who co-founded MadeComfy with Sabrina Bethunin, spoke to Dynamic Business about the early success of his start-up and the growth its new line-up of investors will help unlock.
DB: What pain points do you address for property owners?
Schwaighofer: Many home owners and property investors lack the expertise, resource and time to manage their property for short term rentals. We manage the entire process on their behalf, from listing creation, guest communication, check-in/out, housekeeping, linen provision and pricing. We utilise multiple booking portals, including Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Booking.com, to ensure we achieve the best occupancy rates for our owners. Due to our data driven approach, we’re able to provide owners with a return that is 40% higher than a self-managed rental and 20% to 140% higher than a long-term rental. This is a solution for property investors seeking a better return to pay off their investment costs, and for home owners looking to cover mortgage repayments, household bills or even pay for a holiday. We also focus on providing guests with a high-quality, hotel-equivalent experience for their short-term stay.
DB: What strategies did you employ to attract investment?
Schwaighofer: Rather than asking people or VCs for an investment, our approach was to find the right partners who are passionate about what we do, believe in us and our values and are able to help us with their experience and network to grow and scale faster and smarter. The investment itself, whilst of course still important, then becomes secondary and a natural addition.
DB: How will the funding facilitate growth for MadeComfy?
Schwaighofer: We’ll be investing into our tech and operational infrastructure to ensure we deliver the strong financial returns our property owners expect and the excellence in customer service required to exceed the high expectations of our guests and property owners. The funding will also be used to support the expansion of MadeComfy into Brisbane and Melbourne later this year. Our goal is to be managing 3,000 properties by 2020.
DB: How will your advisory board assist you moving forward?
Schwaighofer: We’re in a very strong position, despite being in the market for only a short time. Our advisors will help us to build on our early success so that we can continue providing a win-win situation to both property owners and guests. Specifically, they will assist us with mentoring, driving specific growth projects, critical networking. In general, they will help make MadeComfy as successful a company as the ones they’ve built themselves or supported before, e.g. Dimmi, Afterpay, Amaysim, LinkedIn SEA, Airtasker, Nearmaps, etc.