Blueground, the Greek proptech startup that offers short-term furnished apartment rentals, is getting close to becoming a unicorn. After raising $140 million in an equity funding round led by existing investor Laurence Tosi’s WestCap Group, the company is now valued at $750 million. Other investors included Geolo Capital, VentureFriends, and Prime Ventures.
Blueground already raised a $50 million Series B round in 2019 from Prime Ventures and WestCap.
Reinventing the way travelers live
Blueground is a proptech rental company with a platform where you can book flexible stays (30 days and longer) from a network of thousands of fully furnished, quality homes around the world.
The idea of launching the company came to Alex Chatzieleftheriou following his own painful experience with living out of hotel rooms during his longer term business travels. Alex envisioned a solution whereby business travelers and remote workers could get quality, flexible stays at affordable prices when moving to a new city.
Aside from working as an intermediate between customers and private landlords and property management companies around the world, Blueground handles the apartment furnishing and offers a range of around-the-clock support services, such as apartment cleaning, wellness services, and grocery delivery. Another key value point for Blueground is the apartment’s location, which is why the company focuses on finding vibrant, well-connected neighborhoods.
Blueground is now headquartered in New York City, has more than 450 international employees and a portfolio of 4,500+ apartments in 15 cities worldwide including in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dubai, Istanbul, Paris, London, Vienna and Athens.
Expanding to serve the growing need for flexibility
The pandemic brought both challenges and opportunities for the rental sector.
In the beginning of 2020, the occupancy rate dropped to 88% in some places and stabilized at around 92%, causing Blueground to lower its rates. Uncertainty also led users to limit lease contract duration to less than 12 months – a trend that continued throughout 2021. The average Blueground rental is 4.5 months, said Chatzieleftheriou for Bloomberg.
On the other hand, he added that the increased adoption of remote working triggered by the pandemic opened up new opportunities for employees to relocate. This brought more potential customers for the Greek proptech startup. The company is expecting a growth in revenues of 40% until the end of the year, reaching $140 million. Forecasts indicated another 85% revenue growth in 2022, Chatzieleftheriou added.
With the new funds, the company plans to fuel expansion around the world, targeting cities such as Miami, Zurich, Berlin, and Madrid, to reach 50 cities by 2025.
“The new 140mil$ round of Blueground is a huge milestone and sets a new record for a valuation for a tech company founded in Greece. We always believed that Blueground will be a transformative company with huge impact and are very excited to see them live up to the high expectations they had set for themselves,” said Apostolos Apostolakis, Board Member of Blueground and co-founder at VentureFriends on his LinkedIn page.
It seems that things are shaping up for the Greek proptech market. Earlier in the year, another startup, Prosperty, raised a €3.3M seed round from its existing pre-seed investors Velocity Partners and Metavallon, to fuel their goal of making property buying simpler, more transparent, and more digital.