Goa-based MyIndianStay, an online homestay accommodation listing platform, has raised $200K angel round of funding led by institutional investors.
The funds raised will help the startup to expand its presence and develop its technology further.
Founded in 2012 by Shan Gehlot and Umesh Agarwal, MyIndianStay provides unique experience to those travelling in India by offering accommodation in villas, homestays, guest houses & apartments.
Operating with the belief that every vacant room or apartment has the potential to become a hotel’s competition, MyIndianStay wants to reach out to this fairly untapped market.
With the aid of technology, MyIndianStay wants to innovate the travel and accommodation space in India. It has unique features like Smart Lock Integration which allows the traveler to unlock the property using her/his smartphone, Host-Guest Interaction Platform that provides a transparent communication channel to both the host and the guest, andLocal Accommodation Discovery Tool, a mobile app which will allow a traveler to discover and book unique accommodation options in the nearby vicinity after reaching the destination.
According to Shan Gehlot, “Though most travelling portals are operating in the domain of homestays and listing hotel properties, there is no one that provides these features. We have for the first time launched these international feature in India. This will give an opportunity to people to rent out their property without being physically present at the accommodation”.
Shan also mentioned that the Indian accommodation industry is currently pegged at $7.4 Bn and is estimated to reach a whopping $15.1 Bn by 2020.
With 30000+ rooms already listed on the platform, the startup market currently leads the market in Goa. It has 5000+ offbeat properties on the website, out of which 30% are verified. The platform sees a growth rate of 20%, month on month.
According to Umesh Agarwal, co-founder of MyIndianStay, the hotel to homestay ratio in the Indian metros is at 10:3. It stands poorly when compared to international cities like New York City and London. “The vacation rental space is evolving in India and is in its initial phase. We think that we are perfectly positioned to be part of this ecosystem and be the largest player in this huge unorganised sector in Indian Market”, adds Umesh.
Sensing the opportunities this lucrative space has to offer, other players are not shying away from entering the market. Stayzilla, an online budget accommodation aggregator, is now focusing on customized and alternative homestay options. Other companies who are functional in this space is HolidayIQ and Yatra.com. Private companies like Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd., Saffronstays.com and Homestays.in are also eyeing the market.
In a report, published in 2014, it was stated that homestays form 13% of total accommodation in the leading 50 emerging tourism destinations in India, with 72% being located in the southern part of the country and 17% in the north.