Malaysia: HostelHunting raises $500k from KK, Incubate, Cradle

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HostelHunting.com platform.

Malaysia-based student accommodation marketplace HostelHunting.com has raised $500,000 in a seed round led by KK Fund, with funding participation from Incubate Fund and Cradle Fund under the CIP 500 grant programme.

KK Fund is a Singapore-based venture capital fund investing in seed stage internet and mobile startups in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Incubate Fund is the largest seed stage investment group in Japan, backed by Tencent, Yahoo Japan, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and other investors.

“The funds will enable HostelHunting.com to scale even faster. The focus will be on building an even stronger team, develop new features for students and landlords and expand regionally,” the startup said in a statement.

Launched in January 2015, HostelHunting.com now has more than 21,000 accommodations in its inventory in the majority of student towns in Malaysia. It has also expanded into Singapore this month.

Students can search for their choice of accommodations by area or institution on HostelHunting.com’s platform. Detailed photos and descriptions are provided for each listing.

To facilitate the booking process, the platform also enables students and landlords to connect with each other with over a thousand of messages being exchanged each month.

Students are assured as the accommodations are verified by HostelHunting.com and all bookings come with a 100 per cent refund guarantee. HostelHunting.com is founded by Keek Wen Khai, Loke Weng Leong, Joey Lim and Marcus Low.

KK Fund general partner Koichi Saito commented that HostelHunting.com is a first mover in this untapped student market here in Southeast Asia.

“The founders have deep understanding and network of student accommodation market from their background. Also, the number of students and intakes are growing by close to 10 per cent every year in Southeast Asia and I see massive market potential in this space,” he added.

Chief executive officer and co-founder Wen Khai said that students who have used the platform note the safety and convenience to find and book their accommodations through HostelHunting.com, vice versa for landlords.

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