Vietnamese vacation rental startup Luxstay bags $4.5m from Korean investors

South Korean retail firm GS Shop and early-stage venture capital firm Bon Angels have participated in a $4.5- million bridge funding for Vietnamese accommodations startup Luxstay, according to a press statement.

Prior to this investment, Luxstay had raised a total of around $6 million from CyberAgent Ventures, Genesia Ventures, Nextrans and two Vietnamese VC firms, ESP Capital and Founders Capital.

Luxstay said it expected to close its Series A fundraising in 2019. DEALSTREETASIA understands the next financing round could be worth at least $10 million.

Founded in 2017, Luxstay is a home-sharing platform focusing on the luxury customer segment. The local short-term rental value was more than $100 million in 2018, compared to the local $7 billion accommodations market.

“In developed countries, home-sharing accounts for 10-20 per cent of the home-rental market. This shows a huge opportunity for this industry in Vietnam, which is expected to reach $2-4 billion in 2025,” Luxstay said.

The company works with local partners in other countries such as Japan and South Korea, which have a large number of tourists to Vietnam and vice versa. GS Shop and Bong Angels will be important connections for the company to other strategic partners and investors in Korea in pursuit of international expansion, it added.

The Airbnb rival in Vietnam said it targeted revenues of over $300 million in 2023, and a home rental market share of 30 per cent.

South Korean tourists to Vietnam reached 3.5 million in 2018, up 44 per cent from 2017 compared to the 20 per cent growth of all international tourists, according to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Meanwhile, the total spending for tourism in 2018 amounted to $25 billion, of which the accommodation sector accounted for 28 per cent, or about $7 billion, and is expected to increase to $13 billion by 2025.

Tapping this growing trend, travel tech was one of the most funded tech verticals in Vietnam in 2018 that saw an aggregate of $889 million.

When it comes to the economic partnership between Korea and Vietnam, there has been substantial development over the years. On the venture capital front, a lot of Korean investors have been pursuing early stage opportunities.

GS Shop, a limited partner of 500 Startups Vietnam, recently made its debut direct investment in e-commerce startup LeFlair. Meanwhile, Bon Angels, the early backer of local unicorn Woowa Brothers, has also invested in several Vietnamese startups. Last October, it launched its third early-stage fund at 50 billion won ($42 million) and aimed to expand investment in Southeast 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.

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.