Japanese startup Wayfarer snatches $1M to become “AWS of hotels”

Japanese hotel proptech start-up Traveler raised $1 million for its mission to become the “Amazon Web Services for Hotels”.

Persistence Capital led the round, with participation from Arculli & Associates, Jyuban and angel investors, bringing Wayfarer’s total funding to $2.1 million.

Founded in 2019, Wayfarer was created to modernize hotel management in Japan. When the pandemic hit, the company partnered with landlords and investors managing vacant buildings and underperforming management companies.

According to the company, under Wayfarer’s leadership, property owners are seeing an increase in free cash flow of up to 70%.

Wayfarer has 200 operated and contracted units in Japan with properties under management worth $50 million. It collects management fees from owners and generates over $3 million in annualized recurring revenue.

Ultimately, Wayfarer will also sign leases, providing landlords with income stability and more flexible bank financing options.

The company says it partners directly with real estate funds, publicly traded real estate companies, brokers and hotel advisors to source and launch new products. Its AWS ambitions for hotels include “creating software solutions and tools with instant product-market fit through their own hotel operations until the software platform is proven, battle-tested, and scalable enough to replacing some of the disjointed on-premises technologies that many hotels still use.”

With the new funding, Wayfarer plans to increase the number of rooms, refine design and branding, and build its development team.