Rocket-backed ZEN Rooms closes $4.1 m series A led by Korean funds

Visual from Zen Rooms website

Rocket Internet-backed South East Asia’s budget hotel company, ZEN Rooms, has closed its $4.1 m series A round, led by Korea’s Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investment Korea.

Existing investors, APACIG (a JV between Rocket Internet and Ooredoo) also joined the round. The company will use the funds to further expand its operations in Asia.

With this round, the total equity funding raised by the firm will touch $8 million.

“This funding round is now an important milestone to consolidate our early leadership and launch more features to modernise temporary budget accommodation in South-East Asia,” says Kiren Tanna, co-founder and global managing director of ZEN Rooms, in a statement.

The company, which started its operations in Indonesia, has now moved to the Philippines, Malaysia,  Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong,  Sri Lanka, Brazil, all these having one thing in common-strong local and foreign tourism.

The company has taken more than 900 hotels under the ZEN Rooms brand in the last two years, with more than 500 from Indonesia. Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are some countries that the company may look at expanding in the future, says Nikita Semenov, the co-founder of ZEN Rooms, who is also heading the Indonesian operations in an interaction with DealstreetAsia.

While Bali is one of its biggest operation in Indonesia with around 2,500 rooms managed on the island, followed by Jakarta and Yogyakarta, the company is now planning to grow in five other cities like Manado, Medan, Semarang, Solo and Balikpapan.

In the last two years, the budget hotel battle has started heating up in South East Asia, and one of the later entrants that have set shop in this fragmented space is Nida Rooms, which raised over $10 million, including a recent $5.6 million series A. Other companies in the similar space that have raised venture capital include Redoorz, and Tinggal.

Also Read:

Indonesia: NIDA Rooms gets $5.6m in Shanda Group-led series A

Indonesia’s NIDA Rooms secures $4.2m from Convergence, Cyber Agent

Rocket Internet rolls out SE Asia-focussed hotel booking platform ZenRooms

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.