blueground, a hospitality-focused startup with interests in Dubai, has raised $5.8 million in its Series A round of funding led by American investment firm Endeavor Catalyst and European seed fund VentureFriends.
blueground offers fully-furnished apartments to business executives, expats, and other travelers for one month or longer.
With this round, the total funding the startup has raised since inception touched $7.4 million, it said in a statement.
The firm, which already has a presence in Athens and Istanbul, entered the Dubai market a few months ago.
The firm leases existing high-end residential properties in sought after areas, and upgrades them into best-in-class rentals, thus avoiding the lengthy and capital intensive construction process of traditional hotel operators while providing its guests a home-like experience.
The company’s scale, furnishing standardization and in-house technology—which automates entire operations, including online bookings and 24×7 guest support through an app—lends it an edge over small-scale furnished apartment operators, it said.
It counts Samsung, Panasonic, H&M, IKEA, Novo Nordisk, Oracle, and Siemens, among others, as clients. The firm’s entry into Dubai reflects its belief in the region’s significant growth potential, it said.
”Dubai is an established hub for both investors and businesses from around the world, making it an ideal market for us,” said Alexandros Chatzieleftheriou, co-founder, and CEO of blueground.
“We are pleased with the trust we have received from property owners, investors and multinational companies in Dubai to date, and we will continue to grow our presence in the region,” said Chatzieleftheriou.
Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised $35 million in philanthropically donated and invested capital.
It has so far invested in more than 40 companies in 15 countries.
Its portfolio firms include Globant in Argentina, Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey and Ruma in Indonesia.
Endeavor Catalyst has also co-invested alongside venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global.
In July 2015, Endeavor Catalyst participated in a $11 Million Series A round raised by Dubai-based Fetchr that offers shipping and logistics solutions.
VentureFriends is a seed fund investing in e-marketplaces and SaaS companies that already generate revenues and are looking to grow and expand internationally.