Hmlet co-founder Zenos Schmickrath exits co-living startup

Photo: Hmlet

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with details from Hmlet’s press statement.

Zenos Schmickrath, the co-founder of Hmlet, left the company in December to seek new entrepreneurial opportunities but remains a shareholder, the co-living startup said in a statement Wednesday.

The departure was originally reported by the Business Times on Wednesday.

Chief executive and co-founder Yoan Kamalski remains with the company, Hmlet said.

The Singapore-based startup recently switched to an “asset-light” model by adopting a revenue-sharing model with landlords; it previously directly rented properties and operated them. The switching of the business model has allowed the group to lower its operational risk while expanding its portfolio via more mergers and acquisitions, it said.

Kamalski said the strategic shift offered the best “inflection point” for Schmickrath’s departure.

“In building and executing this strategy we’ve had to make a number of strategic shifts across our talent pool along with how we go to market, onboard, manage and operate our leases. We have also shifted how we take on leases. In this regard, we have had to hire a number of professionals over the last two quarters to fuel this shift, while parting ways with a handful of members, including Zenos our co-founder,” Kamalski said in the statement.

According to Crunchbase data, the co-living company has raised a total of $48 million in funding from investors including Reinventure, Mitsubishi Estate, Burda Principal Investments, Sequoia Capital India, Aurum Investments and Huang Shao Ning.

Kamalski told Tech in Asia in February that Hmlet had axed around 10 per cent of its workforce, with the report citing a source as saying the actual number could be higher from layoffs that started in December.

Hmlet acquired ‘We Are Urban’ in Hong Kong and Caper Coliving in Australia in the past two years to fuel its expansion in these regions. It is currently operating in more than 93 locations across Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokyo.

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

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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.