Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Two Hospitality Startups Take On Deep-Pocketed Competitors


Hospitality startups are at it again. Today, two global startups focused on the industry scored funding.

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Hosco, a Barcelona-based startup, announced that it has raised $6 million for its hospitality focused recruiting platform. The funding round was led by Nauto Capital and brings Hosco’s total known funding to $12.2 million, according to Crunchbase.

Instead of focusing on recruitment for the tech community, or broadening its reach to all industries, Hosco is sticking with connecting employers, schools, and candidates in hospitality. The company has offices in major global cities including Barcelona, Dubai, London, Milan, and Paris.

We’ve acknowledged time and again recruiting is hard. That’s why so many startups, including Ziprecruiter, have hopped into the space. However, while many of those companies, like Hired, have focused on developing technology to making sourcing easier, Hosco is taking a rather traditional, Linkedin-like approach. Maybe keeping that focus will be its winning ticket.

Nearly 6,500 miles east, Taiwan-based AsiaYo has reportedly raised $7 million to take on Airbnb and the hotel industry in Asia. The Series B was led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund and will aid the company’s expansion into Singapore and Malaysia, according to Tech in Asia.

Currently AsiaYo, which was founded in 2013, operates in 60 cities in Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, according to its site (accessible in English, Mandarin (traditional), and Korean). AsiaYo has more than 60,000 rooms listed and has accumulated more than 600,000 bookings. It acquired an official license to operate in Japan as of August 2018, after the Minpaku Law, which regulates private lodging, went into effect. AsiaYo’s strategy in Japan is to partner with large professional minpaku management consulting firms, according to a company statement.

Still, AsiaYo is up against one of the most well-funded global tech companies: Airbnb. In fact, the company’s site is very similar to Airbnb, from the site design to the option for express booking. And while Airbnb did run into a snag in Japan because of the Minpaku Law, it has a lot of room to flout new regulations with $4.4 billion in funding.

iStock Photo /Orbon Alija

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