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Ukio, a premium apartment rental platform for Europe’s ‘flexible workforce,’ raises $28M • TechCrunch


Ukioa short-term furnished apartment rental platform aimed at a “flexible workforce,” has raised 27 million euros ($28 million) in a Series A funding round. The cash injection creates into 17 million euros of equity and 10 million euros of debt, and after about 14 months since the Spanish company announced seed round worth 9 million euros of funding.

Founded from Barcelona in 2020, Ukio is targeting a very specific social group — one that doesn’t want to be tied to a fixed location, either in their personal or professional lives. with remote working revolution continues to grow, Ukio wants to offer professionals the comfort of home with the added perks and flexibility of a hotel, with each apartment having a concierge and reception area, while some accommodations also include weekly cleaning and linen/towel change.

On top of that, the price of each property includes all utilities (e.g. broadband and electricity), taxes, and everything you normally get for a nightly rate in a hotel. All tenants have to worry about is a recurring monthly payment they make directly to Ukio, which handles all the maintenance and behind-the-scenes management.

The company says the average length of stay in a Ukio-sourced apartment is between four and five months, although it supports stays of one to 11 months. It’s worth noting that guests initially book for a certain period of time, but they can extend their stay through Ukio’s online platform.

Sourcing

As for how Ukio sources its apartments, co-founder Stanley Fourteau says it adopts a “diversified supply strategy” aimed at individual property owners, real estate developers and home offices. family. Ukio typically only accepts 7- to 10-year rental agreements with property owners, meaning they are obligated to stay on the platform for that period of time — but to protect themselves from active assets. Underperforming, Ukio only has a one-year obligation, meaning it only has to give 45 days notice after year one. However, it says it rarely has to do this.

Fourteau told TechCrunch: “Ukio uses proprietary tools to source high-quality off-market apartments, based on rigorous criteria, in prime locations in each city. “This data-driven supply acquisition strategy, combined with real-world knowledge of local real estate, ensures that the moment Ukio launches in a new city, we can quickly and effectively get a wide range of high-quality apartments.”

According to Fourteau, although Ukio’s strategy began with a more outward-looking approach, over time its existing owners of many properties have often increased their presence on the Ukio platform.

“As the brand becomes more familiar and trusted in our market, we see a steady increase in existing homeowners providing more and more supply, as well as homeowners,” he said. New home wants to cooperate with us. “In cities where we have lived for more than a year, the number of introverted leads Ukio has on average is around 60% compared to 40% for extroverts.”

Ukio co-founders are Jeremy and Stanley Fourteau. Image credits: Ukio

target market

It looks like Ukio can satisfy two core use cases. For example, a young professional who can work wherever they like might want to try out a new city before committing to a long-term lease — Ukio would serve that purpose reasonably well. Additionally, anyone who has found a new job in a traditional permanent office can use Ukio as a stopover until they find a more suitable permanent residence. A fully furnished pad with all the trimmings is much more appealing than a hotel, or even an AirBnb property, which is often not suitable for long-term accommodations.

“Finding and renting an apartment for a month or more is still extremely complicated and time-consuming for the modern consumer, who is used to doing everything and everything digitally,” said Jeremy Fourteau, Ukio co-founder said. “Ukio was created to take this challenge.”

The main draw for tenants is that Ukio essentially shields them from the hassles and limitations of traditional rental models. But of course, that comes at a premium, with the cheapest properties starting at around €1,750 per month and fluctuating up to €5,000. Since the start of the year, Ukio says it has seen 7x revenue growth year-on-year, with occupancy rates of 96% across the more than 400 properties it currently lists.

Ukio Platform. Image credits: Ukio

Currently, Ukio is most active in its hometown of Barcelona and Madrid, where they have 210 and 125 apartments for rent, respectively. But it has also expanded to Lisbon (Portugal) and Berlin (Germany), with Paris and Milan coming up in the coming months, followed by London and Dublin, among others.

This expansion is what Ukio’s new Series A investment will essentially fund, while it says it’s also working on a B2B service for businesses growing its international footprint. surname.

Ukio’s rise comes as several similar platforms have raised sizable funding rounds. Birmingham, Alabama-based Landing recently made $125 million in one Series C . funding roundwhile San Francisco’s Zumper raised $30 million when it double when flexible short-term rental. Last year, headquarters in New York Blueground has raised a huge $140 million.

For its part, Ukio is about Europe and it will stay that way “for the foreseeable future,” Fourteau said. The company’s Series A round was led by Felix Capital, with participation from Kreos Capital, Breega, Partech, Heartcore, Bynd, and a host of angel investors.

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