Hoozing, a property tech startup based in Vietnam, announced that it has raised an undisclosed pre-Series A funding round from SmileGate Investment and other investors. The investment, according to Hoozing CEO and co-founder Hai Le, will be used to make sure the business is ready to assist the needs of landlords and customers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2015, Hoozing operates an online marketplace where users can find and rent long-term accommodations. With a community-based model, users can discover available spaces from current tenants who are about to move out.
The company said it aims to digitalize real estate transactions in Vietnam to make renting accessible, trustful, and hassle-free. However, it acknowledges that people tend to save their cash rather than spend it on the property during a pandemic.
“Our ultimate goal is to support landlords to find customers easily as some of them need cash for their business or just to stop paying their current mortgage. So, we are adding more functions to the app over time to achieve this purpose,” Hai Le explained.
The company will also use the fund to strengthen its current team, hiring more talent, and expand our business to more regions in Ho Chi Minh City.
“We see ourselves bringing more transparency to the market and accelerate the digitalizing trend of property transactions by our platforms. We plan to cover more areas of Ho Chi Minh City and expand to Hanoi next year, but this depends on the global pandemic situation,” the CEO said.
Hoozing is now launching an app, which uses the company’s data bank and agent network to help landlords and customers find the right deals. It will bring together more than 50,000 properties and 7,000 agents from the Hoozing ecosystem, according to a statement.
With the app, customers can search, do online visits, and get insights from agents and market data analysis. It will also have features such as smart search, 3D viewing of properties, and smart price comparison.
Positioning itself as a “real estate supermarket 4.0”, Hoozing combines the use of data and agent network to help customers find the right deals easily and effectively. Previously, Hoozing secured seed money from Southeast Asia-focused VC firm Expara Ventures. It also joined the TV show Shark Tank Vietnam in 2018.
Last year, another local prop-tech player, Rever, received funding in a US$2.3 million round backed by GEC-KIP Technology and Innovation Fund. The startup, which is also backed by VinaCapital Ventures, aims to expand across Vietnam as well, starting with key markets such as Hanoi.