The boutique micro-hospitality startup will use the funds to expand its network of weekend getaway home and thereby accelerate its growth.
Micro-hospitality startup SaffronStays has raised $2 million in pre-Series A funding from venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures. The startup was founded by Devendra Parulekar and Tejas Parulekar with an initial capital of Rs 1 crore.
The funds raised will primarily be used as growth capital as SaffronStays looks to expand its reach, and strengthen its technology infrastructure. Devendra says, “We were never dependent on external capital, but this funding will give us the opportunity to accelerate our growth.”
SaffronStays aggregates curated properties owned by high net-worth individuals, manages them, and lets them out to vacationers.
SaffronStays has around 45 properties as inventory across segments such as bungalows, villas, heritage homes, and personal vacation homes spread across six locations. The startup manages properties near Mumbai, Pune, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Chickmagalur, Coorg.
According to Devendra, the company seeks to have a strong presence in western India, and plans to have curated properties in certain locations in Rajasthan and the Northeast too.
The startup claimed is it has been unit level cash positive since August 2016, and expects this trend to continue in the future also.
“Every property on a standalone basis needs to make money,” says Devendra. It closed 2017-18 financial year with a revenue of $1 million. SaffronStays is also actively exploring innovative and engaging business models that will interest home-owners and guests alike.
The startup which currently caters to around 1,500 guests every month is looking to expand this number by 10 times in the next three years.
Devendra says the business model of SaffronStays is largely targeted at those living in the metro cities with a majority of the traffic currently coming from Mumbai. “Indian travellers from metros are starved of weekend getaway options today and our entire proposition is to create curated properties,” he says.