Hostmaker, the online property platform that aimed to piggy back onto the success and growth of Airbnb by making renting out even easier, has filed an intention to appoint administrators. The company raised a staggering £30m over two funding rounds. It spent almost £10m to reach a turnover of £13m but had expenses of £16m. The company ended up making a loss of £14m.
The business model was simply that landlords could let hostmaker do all the hardwork of renting out via Airbnb and organise cleaning, keyholding etc. The idea was a good one but it was hampered by the fact that Airbnb own digital platform was getting easier to use and the old problem that marketing the concept was simply too expensive.
The company was founded in 2014 by former hotel industry strategist Nakul Sharma. After raising £30m, the business expanded from London into Thailand, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
To be honest this does look like a classic case of trying to grow too quickly in multiple jurisdictions which inevitably mean high costs.
However I think it is likely that there will be a buyer for some or all of the company. After an intention to appoint administrators is made the company has 10 days to find a buyer or finance.