Cozystay, an online vacation rental platform focused on serving Chinese vacationers, today announced that its property management subsidiary has secured an investment from Sweetome, the offline property management division of China’s leading lodging-service sharing and booking platform Tujia. This investment follows Cozystay’s recent announcement that it would integrate blockchain into its platform by way of a partnership with Singapore-based Share Everything Lab Pte. Ltd. (SEL).
Tujia is China’s biggest short-term property rental firm, and thought of by many as China’s AirBnB. In late 2017 Tujia raised $300 million from investors, valuing it at more than $1.5 billion. Sweetome accounts for approximately 20,000 properties throughout Asia and 20%-25% of all Tujia’s transactions.
“This investment provides Cozystay with additional fuel to grow our customer base and to advance our technology, while also providing us with increased access to the Chinese market. We will be co-branding as ‘Cozy Sweetome’ for properties across North America. Both brands are known and trusted in their regions and this will help both to continue to grow.”
The integration of blockchain can improve various aspects of the vacation rental experience, including:
- Eliminating double-bookings by providing a single source of truth without data being scattered across various rental platforms
- Improving security and reducing fraud by offering robust data protection and identity verification
- Increasing the quality of reviews by verifying reviewers and ensuring reviews cannot be changed
- Decreasing fees by providing funds transfer via blockchain without third-party markups
“This investment provides Sweetome with increased access to the North American market, as well as access to the Share Everything Lab blockchain platform which has the potential to improve the customer experience of the vacation rental and property management industry significantly.”
Cozystay has 60,000 users, 200,000 listings worldwide and offices in both Vancouver, Canada and Beijing, China. The company serves a large number of Chinese-speaking hosts and the platform itself can be used in Chinese.
There has been an enormous increase in the number of Chinese tourists globally, growing from 10.5 million overseas trips by Chinese tourists in 2001, to 145 million in 2017. Chinese travellers tend to have different expectations than Western travellers including a desire for an increased level of service. Companies such as Tujia and Cozystay are tailored to satisfy these unique needs.