In recent months, it has become apparent that 2019 could be a good year for real estate startups. In November, the broker house gold secured a double-digit million, including Deutsche Bank. Berlin-based Coliving Startup Projects collected 2.2 million euros in December. Shortly thereafter, competitor Medici Living announced that it would launch a € 1 billion investment program for additional locations in Europe. In mid-January came the news that a similar program for the US market is planned for the equivalent of 262 million euros. Now there is another Proptech financing.
The Munich startup Limehome receives in the seed round a total of five million euros. HV Holtzbrinck Ventures leads the way. Also included is venture capitalist Lakestar, founded by Klaus Hommels. Founding shareholder Picus Capital moves in again. Limehome leases vacant space from property owners who previously held tax consultants or law firms. The owners are converting these areas to apartments in consultation with Limehome and the authorities, building new walls, installing electronic door locks and installing sanitary facilities.
In return, Limehome pays a surcharge on the monthly rent for the conversion. For example, with an initial square meter price of ten euros, an additional four to five euros. So the landlord must first invest in the renovation. In the long term, however, the expenditure for owners is expected, the Limehome founders Lars Stäbe and Josef Vollmayr. After all: According to their own information, the two could convince owners of their concept in 14 cities in Germany and Austria.
No reception and admission by PIN
Limehome sets up the rooms – usually between ten and fifteen per location – and rents them as a hotel room to business travelers or private individuals. The special feature: there is no reception or room staff on site. External cleaning and laundry services are responsible for the maintenance of the rooms. “Our lean structure allows us to acquire space other than normal hotel operators, who always need a certain number of rooms to cover their comparatively high costs,” says Limehome co-founder Stäbe, opposite Gründerszene.
Except for the lack of staff, the stay should feel like a normal hotel, he promises. There are lockable rooms, private bathrooms and kitchenettes. Booking is about Booking.com. Entrance PINs for the electronic door locks are sent to the guests on the day of their arrival on the smartphone. The bill comes digital, the customer support can be reached by phone or e-mail.
About the work in The Cologne Koncept Hotel
The Cologne Koncept Hotel also works according to this “digital only” principle. However, the two providers will not get in the way for the time being: Limehome is so far represented exclusively in cities such as Leipzig, Regensburg and Kassel, where the competition in the hotel industry is smaller and vacancies in inner cities are more common.
Since their first room was rented in March 2018, the ex-McKinsey consultants have arranged more than 2,000 overnight stays, they say. The average room rate was in December at 82 euros per night. Now the founders want to put the five million euros from the current round of financing into their technology platform and thus go to other cities. Your goal for the end of 2019: “As many locations as possible. We’re aiming for 30.
Also published on Medium.