Apartment rental start-up Ukio raises €27…

by Aidan Poole

Apartment rental start-up Ukio has secured €27 million to help flexible workers find accommodation as the business expands in Western Europe.

The Series A funding, consisting of €17 million in equity and €10 million in debt, was led by Felix Capital and saw participation from Kreos Capital, Heartcore and Breega.

The Barcelona-based company was created to adapt to the lifestyle habits of modern workers by offering fully furnished and equipped homes for short to medium term living to modernize real estate in the digital age.

The idea was launched by brothers Jeremy and Stanley Fourteau, who arrived as founders of Ukio with experience at Headspace and Airbnb respectively.

The COVID pandemic has necessitated more flexible living and working arrangements, with many workers finding remote and hybrid options more productive and better suited to their lifestyles, according to Ukio.

However, traveling employees are struggling to meet their housing need which lasts six months or less, representing a $30 billion opportunity across Europe.

Ukio currently has a portfolio of over 500 apartments in European cities available for booking on its platform.

The funding will allow Ukio to expand to Paris, Dublin, Milan, London and more, with each unit powered by renewable energy and sustainably furnished.

The company’s apartments are ready to move into within days, with on-site teams and services, including a concierge, cleaning service and gym memberships, available to tenants.

Ukio is also looking to develop features such as automated monthly rental subscriptions to optimize the platform.

The startup has seen sevenfold year-over-year revenue growth since the start of 2022, currently achieving a 96% occupancy rate among rooms.

The Ukio team has grown to 120 people across Europe over the past two years.

The funding round will help the founding brothers grow Ukio’s on-the-ground and in-house teams, especially technology experts.

The money will also be used to invest in the start-up’s platform, to develop a B2B service oriented towards international companies and to develop a European presence.

Jérémy Fourteau, founder of Ukio, said: Finding and renting an apartment for a month or more is still incredibly complex and time-consuming for modern consumers who are used to doing anything and everything digitally.

“Ukio was created to overcome this challenge.

“We’re building proprietary software tools to make it easier than ever for people to find the perfect home to stay in, as well as simplify their search and create the essential products and features to deliver premium service to our clients.”

Stanley Fourteau, founder of Ukio, said: “We founded Ukio to be the go-to solution for a new generation of flexible workers.

“The increase in remote working frees people from their desks, allowing them to experience more of the world, and they take advantage of this opportunity to live and work wherever they want.

“However, the residential real estate market has remained frozen in the past and is in no way conducive to the needs of the generation of tomorrow.

“We are building the future at Ukio – a future where people can live freely, supported by technology and without the typical pain points associated with the housing market.”

Antoine Nussenbaum, Partner and Founder of Felix Capital, said: “Jeremy, Stanley and the Ukio team are tackling a €30 billion market opportunity in Europe that has for too long been completely ignored.

“They have built an incredible business based on strong business fundamentals in a rapidly growing market segment that is disrupting the traditional residential model.

“We believe their fully integrated platform provides an essential service to modern consumers who want to experience more of the world and have the means and flexibility to do so.

“We’re excited to support them and see them launch in new cities in 2023.”

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