The 9 month old company has been growing aggressively with over a thousand bookings.
BEAM 4 Aug, 2017
Southeast Asia welcomed its newest travel unicorn last week when Traveloka, the Indonesian based online travel agency (OTA), announced a USD350 million investment from Expedia, East Ventures, Hillhouse Capital Group, and JD.com.
As things begin to heat up in the online travel industry, Staydilly, a Malaysian-based company aims to contend and win in this space.
Staydilly is an online mystery hotel bookings platform that makes it incredibly easy for people to discover and book luxury hotels at unbeatable prices.
Partnered with many prominent luxury hotels within the region, Staydilly's goal is to offer 5-star hotels at 3-star prices for everyone.
Users can easily place hotel bookings at Staydilly's website, with hotel prices being 35% cheaper on average, and as low as 70% cheaper than market prices.
With SouthEast Asia becoming the fastest growing region for travel in the world (growing at a CAGR of 7.26%), Staydilly believes that this presents itself as a great market opportunity as travellers are spending approximately USD5.4 billion on online travel bookings within the region today.
Despite such a large market, no single online travel agency has emerged as a market leader just yet, and Staydilly hopes to be the first to take that spot.
The team also believes that this market segment is expected to grow significantly in the coming years as the Southeast Asian market begins to mature with more capital flowing in from countries like China, Japan, and the US.
Staydilly was founded by Eu Jin Song, who's previous background was in travel, communications, and finance (investment banking, equity fund management, and equity research).
Staydilly has a team of 12 today, which comprises of many former C-level executives and senior management employees whose past experience were in the hotel industry, other OTAs, and travel agencies.
The team's diversity and dynamism allows Staydilly to be able to negotiate and secure very competitive rates for the partner hotels they bring onboard their platform, enabling Staydilly to grow to over 400 (3 - 5 stars) hotel partners across Southeast Asia.
Since the company's inception just 9 months ago, Staydilly has grown over 50% month-on-month, with over a thousand bookings to date. Their services are presently offered in 8 countries across SouthEast Asia, and continues to grow day-by-day. Eu Jin also mentioned that over 30% of all of the online bookings come from repeat customers.
Staydilly is also an accommodation partner for TechSauce Global Summit, Echelon Conferences, Comic Con, and many other large events happening in the region. These partners collectively allow Staydilly to drive more travellers to place hotel bookings on their website, and even return for their subsequent travel needs.
"Being a first mover in Southeast Asia, there are no direct competition to Staydilly, however, as a website that focuses on providing hotel rooms to trave;lers, indirect competition comes in the form of OTAs which serves the same function. Fundamentally, the OTAs are very different from Staydilly, where the former is akin to a marketplace which earn profits from commissions, whereas Staydilly makes money by imposing a mark-up to fixed cost on rooms which it takes on a consignment basis from partner hotels. This provides Staydilly with the ability to remain price competitive versus other websites, as the prices on the OTAs are determined by the hotels, while Staydilly sets the prices it wishes to sell.", mentioned Eu Jin in an interview
According to the team, Stayilly is presently raising their seed round, and expects to close the round by the end of August or early September.
This could be a great opportunity for investors who wish to get in early on a company that could become Southeast Asia's leading hotel bookings platform, potentially disrupting larger global unicorns like Expedia, Priceline, or C-Trip.
While it's still too early to talk about an exit for Staydilly, it appears that this could be the likely outcome given it's current trajectory.