Yukio, a short-term furnished apartment rental platform targeting the “flexible workforce,” has raised 27 million euros ($28 million) in Series A funding. The cash injection comes with €17 million in equity and €10 million in debt, and comes 14 months after the Spanish company announced a €9 million seed round of funding.
In the year Founded in 2020 from Barcelona, Yukio is targeting a very specific segment of society – those who don’t like being tied to a fixed location in their personal or professional lives. As the telecommuting revolution continues apace, Yukio wants to offer professionals the comforts of home with the added benefits and flexibility of a hotel, with each apartment including a concierge and reception area, while some properties include weekly cleaning service and linen/towels. Replacement.
On top of that, the price of each property includes all utilities (eg broadband and electricity), taxes and whatever you get for a nightly stay at a hotel. All the tenant has to worry about is a single monthly recurring fee that they pay directly to Yukio, which handles all the maintenance and management behind the scenes.
The company advocates stays of one to 11 months, but says the average stay at a Ukiyo-source apartment is four to five months. It’s important to note that guests are initially booked for a limited time, but can extend their stay through Ukio’s online platform.
Explaining how Yukio will roll out the apartments, founder Stanley Forteau said they will follow a “multi-pronged delivery strategy” targeting individual property owners, real estate developers and family offices. Yukio typically only accepts seven- to 10-year leases with property owners, meaning they’re obligated to stay on the platform for that period — but to protect itself from underperforming properties, Yukio only has a one-year commitment, meaning it’s the only one. To give 45 days notice after the first year. However, he says it rarely does.
“Ukio uses proprietary tools to source high-quality, up-market apartments based on strict criteria in prime locations in each city,” Fourteau told TechCrunch. “This data-driven sourcing strategy, combined with on-the-ground local real estate expertise, ensures that we can quickly and efficiently access a pipeline of high-quality apartments the moment Yukio launches in a new city.”
While Ukiyo’s strategy begins with a multi-country approach, over time existing multi-property landlords will increase their presence on Ukiyo’s platform, Fourteau explained.
“As the brand becomes more familiar and trusted in our markets, existing landlords are increasingly offering and new landlords are looking to partner with us,” he said. “In the cities we’ve lived in for more than a year, the number of inbound ukiyo-e leads averages about 60% and 40% outbound.”
Ukio seems to cater to two main use cases. A young professional, for example, might want to sample a new city before moving into a long-term rental where they can work wherever they want – Yukio serves that purpose perfectly. Alternatively, anyone who lands a new job in a permanent brick-and-mortar office can use Yukio as a stopgap until they find a more suitable long-term home. A fully furnished pad is often less suitable for long-term housing than a hotel or Airbnb property.
“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 everything and anything digitally,” said Jeremy Forteau, founder of Yukio. “Ukio was created to overcome this challenge.”
The main appeal for renters is that Yukio protects them from the problems and limitations of traditional rental models. But that, of course, is expensive, with the cheapest property starting at around 1,750 per month and up to 5,000 euros. Since the beginning of the year, Yukio says it has seen sevenfold revenue growth, with an occupancy rate of 96% of the 400-plus properties it currently lists.
Currently, Yukio is most active in his native Barcelona and Madrid, where he rents out 210 and 125 apartments respectively. But it also expanded to Lisbon (Portugal) and Berlin (Germany), followed by Paris and Milan in the coming months, London, Dublin and others.
And this expansion is primarily funded by Ukio’s fresh Series A investment, he said, adding that he is also working on B2B offerings for businesses growing their global footprint.
Ukio’s rise comes as several similar platforms have raised large-scale funding. Birmingham, Alabama-based lodging recently raised $125 million in Series C funding, while San Francisco-based Zumper raised $30 million after doubling down on flexible short-term rentals. And last year, New York-based BlueGround raised over $140 million in funding.
Yukio, meanwhile, is all about Europe and will stay “for the foreseeable future,” Forto said. The company’s Series A round was led by Felix Capital, with participation from Kreos Capital, Breega, Partech, Heartcore, Bynd and several angel investors.