Hostex, which is operating a platform for managing multiple home listings, has raised RMB 4 million in its latest funding round and will use the funding for technology development as well as marketing and sales.
It is also reportedly preparing to launch the A round of financing.
As homeowners tend to publish their listings on multiple platforms including Airbnb, Ctrip-backed Tujia, Meituan-owned Zhenguo, Xiaozhu and other short-term rental platforms, they have to manually change room rates or update room status across these standalone platforms to avoid double bookings.
To deal with this hassle, Hostex has developed a one-stop SaaS system and mobile application for homestay management across different platforms. Listers can manage room status, rates, interaction and operation data on a single platform. This is expected to help enlarge the scale and efficiency of the short-term homestay market.
Also, Hostex also provides staff and business management functions through its platform. “Different functions and authorization levels can be assigned to operators in different roles,” said Mr. Shuo Zhang, founder of Hostex, “Our system can also help homeowners automate task management and provide multi-dimensional analytics reports consolidating financial and operational data from different channels.”
The platform has attracted tens of thousands of listings since its Version 1.0 went live online at the end of March last year for free use by customers. The number is expected to increase it to 100,000 by year end. Locals, Airbnb-acquired CityHome, Tujia and other native brands in China have already tried its listing management service.
To align data across platforms, Hostex is negotiating for direct interface connection with different companies. “Most home-share platforms are willing to share data interfaces with us, as we can bring them new listings and help the industry deliver greater efficiency for homeowners.”
Hostex will continue to optimize its product features but has no plans to charge for its service yet.
According to Mr. Zhang, there will be two potential charging models for the future. One is to charge an annual fee by the number of listings and platforms, and the other is to charge by adopted features, such as smart key-less service or sales distribution.