Japan’s answer to Airbnb, Hyakusenrenma, secures $13M in third funding round

From “Tomarina” website

Hyakusenrenma, the Japanese startup behind vacation rental services such as Stay Japan and Tomarina, has secured about 1.4 billion yen (about $13 million) from AID Partners Capital Holdings (HK:8088), Tokyo-based railway/department store operator Keio Corporation (TSE:9008) and Cool Japan Fund.

This follows the previous funding in a seed round from Silicon Valley-based World Innovation Lab (WiL for short) for 200 million yen in July of 2014, followed by an undisclosed amount of additional funding from Tokyo-based Internet service company Gaiax (TSE:3775) in November of 2015. The company said it will use the latest funds to turn their vacation rental sites into a multilingual environment, so foreign visitors to Japan can much easily access authentic travel destinations.

Stay Japan, one of the company’s services, introduces vacant private houses and rooms to travelers searching for accommodations. Tomarina, another service, allows travelers to stay at a farmer’s / fisherman’s home, experiencing such jobs by participating in “farmstay” tourism programs under public sector auspices.

It is said that shortage looms for short-term stay locations due to increased inbound tourism. The planned 2020 Olympics is adding further fuel to things. The Japanese government is looking to encourage “authorized” services like the abovementioned to counter this situation.