Roomorama – a short-term and vacation property rentals platform that competed with Airbnb – has announced that it will no longer be processing bookings, and will be reviewing its future direction.
In a statement posted on its website, the Singaporean company said that “increasing competition and regulatory headwinds have made it ever more challenging to operate in this industry,” and that it will cease accepting any new bookings “while we decide our future from here.”
The statement also said the company would honor all existing bookings.
Roomorama was founded by Jia En Teo and Federico Folcia in 2009, and claimed as recently as June this year that it offered more than 80,000 owner-managed and professionally-managed rentals worldwide.
In 2012, it secured US$2.1 million in seed funding and merged with US and Europe-focused competitor Lofty, significantly expanding its market reach. The following year, it partnered with travel price comparison site Wego, adding another potentially lucrative channel for sourcing bookings.
They made multiple phone calls and sent several emails to Roomorama to arrange a refund, but received no answer from the company.
However, it would appear that the pressure was piling on Roomorama. It was operating in a highly competitive market dominated by US player Airbnb, which set up a Singapore office in 2012.
Moreover, the company had to deal with regulatory issues surrounding its business model in many of the territories it operated in, including Singapore.
The most recent review posted on Roomorama’s Singapore Facebook page is almost a year old, and is negative in its appraisal of the company. The reviewer claimed that after their booking was cancelled by a property owner, they made multiple phone calls and sent several emails to Roomorama to arrange a refund, but received no answer from the company.
The next most recent review – dated to October 2015 – is from a landlord who wanted to list their property for rent on Roomorama’s site. They similarly received no reply from the company. None of the Facebook reviews appear to have been responded to, or otherwise publicly acknowledged, by Roomorama.
The website of Bridge Rentals – a company affiliated with Roomorama and operating in the same space, with Teo and Folcia holding board seats – appears to be offline at the time of writing.
Tech in Asia contacted Roomorama and Bridge Rentals but did not receive any additional comment beyond the statement posted on Roomorama’s website. Teo suggested we contact a third-party PR representative for further questions, who told us that Roomorama is in the process of winding down and settling matters with partners.
Tech in Asia also contacted Roomorama investors Vickers Ventures and Profounders Capital, but has not received a response.