Despite the looming "situation" and uncertainties in the field of tech it brings, the Israeli company announced a huge fundraising round– huge even by 2021 standards. Guesty, the Israeli company that develops a platform for managing rental properties, announced today (Tuesday) the completion of a fundraising round of $170 million led by Apax Digital Fund, MSD Partners, and Sixth Street Growth. Existing investors Viola Growth and Flashpoint also participated in the round:
"We are no longer just a cybernation"
Guesty develops an automated system to handle all stages of renting and hosting on platforms such as Booking.com, HomeAway, Airbnb and other independent websites. The system answers questions of interested parties automatically and at all hours of the day; allows you to communicate with interested parties and customers through all platforms from one place; filter interested parties; confirm orders automatically; provide guests with information such as directions and where to get the key.
Along with the management of the properties through the known platforms, Guesty operates an independent website for property owners, where it manages financial and accounting information, communication channels, operation, and cleaning tasks and more. Guesty also operates a Marketplace with more than 130 partners, who provide complementary services to property managers, including dynamic pricing tools, payment clearing, smart home products and more. In addition, the company allows access to its API, to build in features within the system.
Today’s announcement is not so common these days: a huge recruitment round. In a conversation with Geektime, the company's CEO and one of its founders, Amiad Soto, explained that this is a direct result of an explosion in the market the company currently operates in, which currently generates about $200 billion a year: "In recent years, leading Israeli companies have grown in a variety of fields that bring unique solutions to the international market which are content specific. We [Israel] are no longer just a cybernation; we also are very handy at selling solutions to different consumers. The current fundraising round was led by three large companies, and since such companies don’t normally participate in small rounds of fundraising, we increased our goal more than we originally planned. We did so, among other things, by offering some of the company's early shareholders to sell some of their shares to complete the round at its new goal,” said Soto.
Soto explained that despite the initial intention to raise a lower amount, the company believes it will be profitable before using all the money raised. A small part of this money, as mentioned, will go to investors who liquidated their holdings in the company. "On the other hand, this [larger than expected recruitment] has opened up more options for us for faster growth, including mergers and acquisitions that can be carried out more easily," he added.
"We fell into a very challenging time in the market"
When did you start recruiting? Was it difficult to find investors this time around?
"We started a few months ago and fell into this suddenly challenging period in the market. Despite this, we managed to evoke the interest of several investors, who liked our story, the team, and the growth of the company. The difficulty was that investors – because of the market’s current situation – are being much more thorough and careful so ask more questions than we are used to. But we provided the necessary information and proper analysis to give the investors the assurance they needed to continue with their investment.”
Soto added that the value of the company has almost tripled since its previous funding round in April 2021, after a difficult year in the travel market. "We are very pleased with our progress. In our opinion, the valuation you get when you go public or sell the company is the one that matters. But in the meantime, we are proud of our growth – we doubled our revenue in 2021 compared to the previous year and this year plan on doing the same and continuing to double our profits in years to come.” Guesty was founded at the end of 2013 by brothers Koby and Amiad Soto and operates in dozens of countries. The company currently employs about 600 people in 14 offices around the world – including in its development center in Tel Aviv.