Mumbai-based micro-hospitality startup, SaffronStays has secured an undisclosed amount in pre-series A round from consumer-centric VC Sixth Sense Ventures, to continue its meteoric growth in the micro-hospitality industry.
Launched in 2015 by Devendra and Tejas Parulekar, and mentored by prolific angel investor Sanjay Mehta, SaffronStays exclusively curates and manages hospitality operations, reservations, branding and marketing for private vacation homes owned by HNIs. The company currently operates 45 homes across six states across the country and hosts over 1500 guests every month.
The bootstrapped company with an initial capital of Rs 1 crore has been unit level cash positive since August 2016. Having been in the market for 3 years, SaffronStays is exploring innovative and engaging business models that will interest Home Owners and Guests, alike. The company will actively accelerate its growth, hire top talent, and expand its inventory while offering a vastly improved and curated experience.
While SaffronStays has expanded from five employees to 22 employees in a span for two years, the company has also trained and empowered a larger work-force: over 150 caretakers, supervisors, managers, and housekeeping staff members across the country, with a dedicated Training Centre in Ulwe, Panvel.
Nikhil Vora, Founder & CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, states, “At Sixth Sense, we would strive to always back kick-ass promoters (Deven and Tejas), in a big-ass market ($40bn space) with a smart-ass product (Holiday Homes). The Indian travel market is massive and yet underserved. Our belief is that the Indian traveler is at the cusp of becoming experiential and demanding by looking for unique travel experiences. Weekend plans to de-stress and bond with families and friends has been largely trending in cities and premium home stays located within 3 hours from city limits make up for the most preferred short holiday destinations. We believe that SaffronStays is very well equipped to capture this market with its exclusivity and well-curated offerings and parallely create an opportunity for homeowners to monetize their most valuable and expensive asset”.
Sixth Sense is the first institutional investor in SaffronStays and will hold a significant minority stake in the company. Nikhil Vora joins the board of SaffronStays.
Other players operating in the hospitality segment include OYO Rooms, FabHotels, and Treebo Hotels among others.