Hyakusenrenma, the Japanese startup behind vacation rental services such as Stay Japan and Tomarina, has secured about $13 million (1.4 billion yen) from AID Partners Capital Holdings, Tokyo-based railway/department store operator Keio Corporation and Cool Japan Fund.
This follows a previous funding round from Silicon Valley-based World Innovation Lab (WiL) for 200 million yen in July 2014, and an undisclosed amount of additional funding from Tokyo-based Internet service company Gaiax in November 2015. Hyakusenrenma said it will use the latest funds to turn their vacation rental sites into a multilingual environment, so foreign visitors to Japan can more easily access the service.
Stay Japan, one of the company’s services, markets vacant private houses and rooms to travelers searching for accommodations. Tomarina, another service, allows travelers to stay at a farmer’s / fisherman’s home, experiencing such jobs by participating in “farmstay” tourism programs.
Japan may soon face a shortage of short-term stay locations, due to increased inbound tourism. The planned 2020 Olympics further fuels concerns. The Japanese government is looking to encourage “authorized” services, such as those mentioned above, to counter this situation.