Budget hotels in southeast Asia continue to attract investor interest, with Zen Rooms the latest to secure funding in a $4.1m Series A round.
The Series A has been led by two South Korea-based investors Red Badge Pacific and the regional office of Japan’s SBI Group. Zen Rooms was founded in 2015 by Asia Pacific Internet Group, a joint venture between German incubator Rocket Internet and Qatar-based telecoms firm Oreedoo.
Zen Rooms is typical of a number of businesses in Asia which are standardising budget hotels under a brand and giving the properties an online, mobile and app distribution platform. It started out in Indonesia and has expanded across the region. As an interesting outlier is that it has also opened four properties in Brazil.
Its CEO Nathan Boublil appear on Bloomberg TV Philippines to explain its plans for the region:
The poster-child for the branded budget accommodation sector in Asia is India’s OYO Rooms, which has picked up some $200 million in funding – led by Japan’s Softbank – since its launch in 2014. It now has more than 70,000 rooms on its books. Zen Rooms in comparison has around 5000 rooms.
Related reading from Tnooz: