Indonesia’s Travelio raises $18M to help tenants rent apartments

More than 50% of residential apartments and other real estate properties in Jakarta are currently vacant, according to official estimates. A startup that is attempting to make it easier for tenants to rent these properties in Jakarta and other places in Indonesia said on Thursday that it has closed a new financing round.

Travelio has raised $18 million in its Series B financing round led by Singapore-based Pavilion Capital and Gobi Partners, the four-year-old startup said. Some existing investors also participated in the round.

The startup works with individual apartment owners and property dealers to allow tenants to find and rent apartments. People can book an apartment for a day to months, Christina Suriadjaja, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Travelio, told TechCrunch in an interview.

Travelio has more than 4,000 properties exclusively signed up with the platform, she said. The startup takes between 20% to 35% of the revenue cut from its property owner partners, she explained.

Typically, it would cost a little more than $350 for someone to rent an apartment for a month from Travelio. In Indonesia, currently those looking for an apartment from property dealers and individual owners have to make a down payment of 20% and pay an advanced security deposit for more than a year. Through its pricing structure, Travelio is attempting to address this issue, as well.

A number of startups, including RedDoorz, Oyo and Airbnb, operate in Indonesia, but because they are focused on providing rooms for a day or two like hotels, this differentiates them from Travelio. Suriadjaja said Airbnb, which lists properties of Travelio, is more of a partner than a competitor. “Our competitors are property dealers,” she said.

In addition to offering these fully furnished apartments, Travelio also takes care of house cleaning and maintenance of these properties. “In the coming months, we will work on expanding the services we offer,” she said. Some of the services it is exploring include interior design, daily necessities, financing, payments and other logistic-related offerings.

The startup aims to have 20,000 apartments on its platform in one year. “With Indonesia’s rising middle class population, Travelio is well-positioned to serve the growing demand for temporary housing, urbanization and affordable living options,” the startup said.

A recent research report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. projected that Southeast Asia’s internet economy would top $100 billion this year. Indonesia, home to more than 260 million people, would be the biggest contributor to the internet economy’s growth in the region, the report said.