Malaysia’s Hostel Hunting rebrands as LiveIn.com, eyes middle-class customers in SEA

Living room. Source: Filios Sazeides/Unsplash

Hostel Hunting, a long-stay rental solutions provider in Malaysia, has rebranded the name to LiveIn.com, as the company is ramping up efforts for a larger market share in the co-living space across Southeast Asia.

LiveIn.com, which has so far raised over $4.5 million, kicked off the “next phase” of market expansion to “extend lead in co-living business for middle-class Southeast Asians,” the company announced in a statement on Thursday.

The capital raised earlier, along with new funding coming in 2020, will help LiveIn.com establish a greater foothold in Thailand and propel expansion plans into Indonesia and the Philippines in the year ahead, said the company.

LiveIn.com, founded in 2015, started as a platform to tackle long-term room rental issues among students and property owners in Malaysia through a marketplace website, a website for house owners and potential tenants to match.

The firm shifted the direction in 2018 to offer value-added co-living experiences for working professionals and students from middle-class families in Southeast Asia. Its marketplace now has approximately 142,610 listings across Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, shows the company website.

“Thailand has been an extremely exciting market with the overall efficiency we are seeing in capitalising buildings,” said Joey Lim, co-founder at LiveIn.com. “The pace at which the buildings are filling up is proof that our product market fit is right, and our learnings from our first market are accelerating our growth.”

“Co-living is becoming mainstream for millennials in Southeast Asia who are seeking a sense of community in a prime location with affordable price. LiveIn.com is successfully achieving product-market fit in this fast-growing housing trend and the numbers of users have been picking up rapidly for last one year,” said Koichi Saito, general partner at KK Fund.

KK Fund, which makes investments in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, was one of the earliest backers in LiveIn.com and continued pouring capital into its following rounds.

LiveIn.com’s investors also include Singapore’s Jungle Ventures, Japanese venture capital firm Incubate Fund, early-stage VC Wavemaker Partners, and Aucfan, a Japanese online platform for e-commerce price comparisons.

In June 2017, LiveIn.com raised a Series A round from Tokyo-based Accord Ventures, Japanese investment firm Hoop Partners, KK Fund, and Startia, which provides network and business solutions in Japan and internationally. Financial terms of the previous round were not disclosed.

It also received $500,000 in a seed round from KK Fund, Incubate Fund, and Cradle Fund’s CIP500 programme in December 2015.

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.

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.