Online accommodation marketplace start-up, Wimdu, has received $90 million in funding from venture capitalist companies Rocket Internet and Kinnevik, some of which will find its way into the company's new Australian arm.
Wimdu, which launched in Australia in April, aims to connect homeowners around the world with budget travellers who want to couch surf or rent an apartment, which German-based Rocket Internet and Swedish investor Kinnevik have recognised as a fast-growing market.
Gregory Green, Wimdu CEO for Australia, said that the company has rapidly grown due to the demand for this type of accommodation.
"The company has grown quickly to expand its global reach and outpace competition. Over 400 properties in Australia are just one example," said Australian CEO Gregory Green.
Green also stated that Wimdu will be frugal with the $90 million invested into the company, which will go into the backbone of the business.
"[The amount will be] divided between 65 countries over the three years it usually takes a start-up to become profitable," he said. "We will be very lean. The investment cash will be spent on Wimdu's transaction process, engagement with property owners and operations. An online marketing push will attempt to boost numbers, whilst also trying to forge links with various tourism bodies in Australia."
The company's platform lets anyone post a room, an apartment or even a house on Wimdu's website for free, as an alternative choice to hotels or hostels, which would also offer a local perspective on living in a foreign country.
Wimdu is available in 11 languages throughout Australasia, Europe and the Americas, and has 10,000-plus host rooms in over 150 cities. Wimdu employs 400 staff in 15 head offices worldwide.