Zolo, an online paying guest listings aggregator, has raised $5 million in funding led by existing investor Nexus Venture Partners and new investor Innoven Capital. The company will use the funds to expand to other cities including Chennai and Delhi-NCR by the end of this year.
Founded in 2015 by Nikhil Sikri and Akhil Sikri, Zolo currently offers its services in Bangalore and Pune. Users can use the platform to book long stays as PG (paying guest) at various shared and solo accommodations. The company offers features like meals twice a day, WiFi, housekeeping, TV, wardrobe and filter water at all its accommodations, at no extra cost. Users can choose to schedule a visit to a place to check before booking, and can pay rent and deposit online.
Zolo has also started partnering with large builders for fully managed accommodation although it is not clear when it will launch such properties.
Note that this funding comes at a time when companies like Wudstay have moved away from budget hotel aggregation to offer only PGs and hostels. Similarly, Grabhouse had moved to be an online search engine for roommates, from being a property rental platform, which Quikr recently acquired. Interestingly, real estate portal Housing, which merged with PropTiger last week, also recently re-launched rental listings citing that the government’s demonetization move is expected to cause a major slowdown in the home-buying and selling segment. This would likely shift growth to the home rental space, “making it an opportune time to re-launch the rentals business.”