Casai, a Mexican startup for smart lodging and short-term rentals, has just announced its debut in Florianopolis, after acquiring Roomin, a startup that rents and manages properties in the capital city of Santa Catarina, one of the most popular tourist spots in Brazil. This is Casai’s second acquisition in only six months in the country – in August, the proptech bought the Q Apartments’ operation to leverage the short-term rentals front for corporate demands. The terms of the Roomin-deal were not disclosed, but Casai said it plans to invest about BRL 30 million in the expansion in Florianopolis.
By taking over Roomin’s operations, Casai adds to its portfolio about 100 apartments located in downtown Florianópolis and in the region of the Federal University of Santa Catarina, besides beach neighborhoods, such as Jurerê, Cachoeira do Bom Jesus, Ingleses, and Campeche. Casai’s goal is to double its portfolio in a few months.
The acquisition of Roomin is part of Casai’s strategy to become the main smart lodging player in Brazil. The launch in the country had an initial investment of BRL 100 million and began with the offer of premium flats, the startup‘s brand, in prime neighborhoods of São Paulo, such as Vila Olímpia, Pinheiros, Jardins, and Itaim Bibi. Two months later, Casai debuted in Rio de Janeiro.
Today, Brazil is seen as the key market for the company, and also the most lucrative, due to its size and tourism potential, as well as growing corporate demand. According to the startup, the Brazilian portfolio now represents more than 50% of the company’s global presence, and the expectation is that the operation will grow 15 times between June and December 2021. For 2022, new Brazilian cities are on the radar.
“Casai’s coming to Florianópolis is strategic for the company’s positioning in Brazil, since the city is an important tourist destination, and a national innovation center. Besides, we know that the location factor is crucial to provide a good experience to the final guest and Roomin is present in the best neighborhoods on the island”, said Daniel Hermann, Casai’s expansion director.
Besides Roomin and Q Apartments’ acquisitions, Casai recently announced the launch of a residential real estate fund in partnership with Navi, Brazil‘s broker with BRL 9.1 billion under management. The fund will be structured with XP Investimentos and will be focused on short-term rentals, to monetize the properties managed by proptech.
Casai’s business model is based on the smart-home concept. The startup offers fully equipped flats for short or long stays. The differential is the exclusive design – the properties are decorated by Casai’s design experts in projects that value the use of sustainable products and locally sourced brands – and the smart-home technology, in which the property is 100% connected and managed by devices.
The highlight of the experience is “Butler“, an internal system developed by Casai that connects to guests’ apps, giving them full control over the interactive experience inside the property and taking their requests remotely. In addition, access to the properties is keyless and the entire check-in process is performed without physical contact. Technology is also applied for inventory management and managing customer orders based on consumption trends.