Delhi-based First Time Travellers Ltd, which owns and operate www.icanstay.com, a portal known for making luxury hotel stay available for business travelers, has successfully raised fresh round of funding of Rs 1.30 Cr from an angel investor Mr. Manoj Prasad, executive chairman at Singapore-based venture capital and management advisory firm MP Morgan Capital Partners Pte. Ltd., announced the startup in a press release.
This is addition to Rs 2.24 Cr raised few months earlier from the same investor who has picked up 6.54 % stake in the company. The overall funds acquired are USD Five Hundred Fifty Thousand. This investment values FTTL at more than Rs 36 Cr, in a short span of just nine months since its commercial launch.
Commenting on his investment, Mr. Manoj Prasad, the angel investor said, “We see tremendous growth opportunities in the travel and hospitality space in India. FTTL is an exciting start-up with a unique model that brings value to all its stakeholders – customers as well as hotels and is well positioned for growth. We are excited to partner with such an exceptional management team and continue to build and grow this business over the long term.”
“icanstay” is launched to fulfil aspiration of millions of Indians, who have yet not experienced stay in a Luxury Hotel. As per market study, less then 2% Indians have experienced stay in a luxury hotel. There is a huge aspirational class of customers, as per our estimates 10% of the total population, who wish and desire to stay in a luxury hotel. And as on date there are 125000 luxury rooms in India, which will grow to 165000 by 2020. With industry average of 62% occupancy, 47500 rooms go vacant daily. Icanstay is a market place/bridge for a large base of aspirational consumers and luxury hotels with vacant rooms.
icanstay offers 4 & 5 Star rooms all over India at an amazing and fixed price of 2999 (include GST) all around the year. No seasonal surges or city-based price. The portal wishes to upgrade budget hotel customer to Luxury hotel and make this his/her way of life.
Users can purchase an open voucher valid for 11 months, which can be utilised in more than 50 cities.
Mr. Puneet Gupta, COO and Co-Founder, FTTL said, that the investment would be utilized to beef up the technology and expand hotel network. We are strongly placed to help hotels fill their vacant rooms and increase their yield per room. Further we are continuously strengthening our product offering and user experience. We are targeting a turnover of Rs. 700 Crores by 2020.”
The company’s USP has always been the price and flexibility that it offers to its customers, making luxury hotel stay affordable for as many people as possible.
Hospitality is a $550bn+ industry and is growing at a CAGR of ~10%. While hotels are already fighting a battle with MakeMyTrips & AirBnBs of the world; a unique and personalized Guest Experience which is Valuable, Durable, Rare and most importantly Non-Imitable will create a long-term loyalty.
Last month, Bangaluru-based NestAway had announced a whopping $51 Mn fund-raise from Goldman Sachs, UC-RNT Fund and the University of California. In May 2017, NestAway had too made acquisition of residential rental management company Zenify for an undisclosed amount.
In February, student housing startup Placio raised $2 Mn in a Pre-Series A funding round from Prestellar Ventures. Around the same time, co-living startup CoLive raised $1.8 Mn (INR12 Cr) in a round of funding led by Ncubate Capital Partners. In the same month, Bengaluru-based Trilyo, a B2B hospitality industry SaaS company that offers artificial intelligence (AI) driven Voice & Chat based solutions for providing next-generation customer experience, has raised $250k round of funding led by Startup Buddy
In November 2017, another player of student accommodation, Stanza Living raised $2 Mn in funding from investment firms Matrix Partners and California-headquartered Accel Partners. Another similar startup Zolo had raised $5 million from Nexus Venture Partners, in January 2017.