Silkhaus secures $7.75 million to digitize short-term rentals in emerging markets

Silkhaus secures $7.75 million to digitize short-term rentals in emerging markets

Silkhaus, a Dubai-based short-term rental platform, has raised $7.75 million in seed funding, money it plans to use for its expansion into South Asia, Southeast Asia and in the MENA region.

Venture capital firms that participated in the round include Nuwa Capital, Nordstar, Global Founders Capital, Yuj Ventures, Whiteboard Capital and VentureSouq. A few international family offices and proptech founders have also joined this cycle.

CEO Aahan Bhojani and Ashmin Varma founded Silkhaus last year after identifying a $13 billion market opportunity for asset owners in emerging markets, particularly MENA, South Asia and Southeast Asia. In an interview with TechCrunch, Bhojani, an HBS and Yale College graduate who previously held roles that required extensive travel, such as management consulting and investment banking, said what prompted him to start Silkhaus was the change in behavior of small business owners after the pandemic.

“At one point, when I was developing software that enabled SMBs to book and manage travel around the world, I saw that companies were starting to do something different,” the chief executive told TechCrunch during an interview. ‘a call. “Companies have traditionally always stayed in hotels. But interestingly, they were now starting to ask for short-term rentals as well, you know, basically the Airbnbs of the world. And that’s when I started scratching my head and thinking about this whole space as a supply and demand issue.

The pandemic has changed the nature of travel, he said. According to him, while the frequency of leisure and business trips has decreased, the average duration of these trips has exploded. His interpretation of this event was that these journeys were becoming more nomadic and thinking long term. But while platforms like Airbnb have fantastically aggregated demand to meet supply in the US and Europe, it’s a different experience in emerging markets where supply isn’t aggregated enough to meet demand. demand driven by Airbnb. This is where Silkhaus comes in. It digitizes the process of operating short-term rentals for large and small landlords by providing an operating system that includes the tools needed to monetize and manage their properties. The company says it allows owners to list multiple or single units on the platform with an average increase in revenue yield of between 20-40%.

“Honestly, finding a good Airbnb in these markets is like pulling a needle out of a haystack. And that’s what we solve,” Bhojani said. performers and build the highest quality provider of this inventory for our partners, including Airbnb. Our grand vision is to bring quality, control, and technology to the space. We exist to make sure that more people can take advantage of high-quality short-term rentals.


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Essentially, Silkhaus takes rental units from asset owners (in Dubai, for now) and handles distribution, pricing, revenue management and full coverage from a digital perspective; Airbnb is one of over 60 different distribution channels that Silkhaus uses. Meanwhile, the company has built tools on the back-end, including a marketplace for third-party vendors to access these rentals and manage operations.

According to the CEO, Dubai was the perfect market to launch Silkhaus as its infrastructure features one of the most advanced configurations for short-term rentals, embodies progressive government regulation for proptech, and accommodates varying demands from different types of consumers. Silkhaus’ engineering team, split between the UAE city and Bangalore, is currently developing its technology stack, the company said in a statement. COO Varma leads the team, which is part of a staff of 20 with professionals from Microsoft, Airbnb, Careem and Deliveroo.

Bhojani says Silkhaus is currently in the top 3% of operators in the city in terms of units under management. He said the proptech startup, whose revenue has grown 10x in the last 12 months, plans to enter the top 1% in the next two months by increasing the supply of properties on its platform. .

Silkhaus estimates that its market opportunity could reach $18 billion over the next four years. With operations planned for major economic hubs in Asia and the MENA region, providing customers with high-quality accommodation options and letting companies choose extended stays for their employees on Silkhaus will be key to capturing a significant share of this market share.

“We are delighted to see Silkhaus emerge as the leading short-term rental platform in Asia, and in particular delighted to partner with Aahan and his team, who in a short time have proven their ability to disrupt two major industries. fragmented: real real estate and hospitality,” Ole Ruch, managing partner at Nordstar, said in a statement.

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