Malaysian-based property rental platform Speedhome, which has recently raised 7 million MYR ($1.67 million) in Series A funding, targets to reach unicorn status in three years.

“We plan to raise Series B next year. We aim to become a PropTech unicorn in three years,” Speedhome Chief Executive Officer Wong Whei Meng told TechNode Global when contacted.

Speedhome aims to expand regionally to 10 other metropolitan cities in the next five years, namely Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Singapore, to emerge as Southeast Asia’s PropTech Unicorn.

“We see strong growth in Malaysia despite the challenging economic environment. We are confident to see even-better growth moving forward,” he said.

Speedhome recorded more than 160 percent year-on-year growth in Gross Written Premium (GWP) contribution to Allianz Malaysia in 2020 compared to 2019.

Series A funding for technology advancement and expansion

On Monday, Speedhome announced it has raised $1.67 million in Series A funding, backed by insurer Allianz Malaysia Bhd and venture capital firm Gobi Partners, with the fund to be capitalized on Speedhome’s regional expansion and tech advancements.

“This fund will help us kick start our regional expansion in Bangkok and accelerate our efforts towards making Speedhome as the region’s super app for property investors,” Wong said in a statement on Monday.

Speedhome’s Series A funding came as Malaysia is still in a full movement control order (MCO) to contain the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. New positive cases reached more than 9,000 cases over the past few days despite the rollout of vaccination programme in the country since early of the year.

Amidst the challenging circumstances last year, Speedhome said it managed to soften the adverse impact of the pandemic on the property industry with the introduction of its “Virtual Viewing” and “Homerunners” services that addressed the restrictions posed by the various Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia.

“We are very impressed with Speedhome’s strong growth and ability to become a market-leading platform. In addition, Speedhome proprietary tenant behaviour data set and AI capabilities enabled a more transparent, more accessible and equal-opportunity compared to the existing perception-biased rental mechanism,” Gobi Partners chairman Thomas G.Tsao said in the statement.

“Speedhome is one of our first investments for Gobi’s SuperSeed Fund II; in fact, the company was one of the winners of our SuperSeed II Championship last year,” he said.

The investment also marks another venture into the PropTech industry for Gobi Partners. In Indonesia, it currently has two PropTech investments, online short-term home rental marketplace Travelio, and premium co-working space operator GoWork.

Enhancing property access and security

Embarking on a partnership in 2017, Speedhome and Allianz jointly developed the “zero deposit and landlord insurance”, a solution that removes any financial burden for tenants, and at the same time, provides downside protection for property investors.

“Digital partnerships are very much part of our strategy at Allianz Malaysia as we look towards capitalising on new opportunities and new markets. However, more importantly, we are equally driven to support our local digital champions, start-ups like Speedhome, and currently have over 50 active digital partnerships across various sectors,” Allianz Malaysia CEO said Zakri Khir.

Established in 2015, Speedhome, formerly known as Speedrent, is a zero-deposit property rental platform connecting landlords directly to quality tenants providing rental protection services. Its mobile app has exceeded 470,000 downloads on Play Store and App Store. The firm has a database of more than 59,000 property listings and 17,000 potentials in their high-quality tenant pool.

Speedhome aims to simplify the rental process, making it transparent and secured for both landlords and tenants.

Partnered with Allianz Malaysia, Speedhome is the first rental platform that provides insurance and rental protection of up to 42,000 ringgit, covering more than standard security deposits.

The investment holding company, Allianz Malaysia Bhd, a subsidiary of German multinational financial services company Allianz SE, has two insurance subsidiaries – Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Bhd and Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd. Allianz Malaysia has 32 branches nationwide.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, Gobi Partners is a venture capital firm with a Pan-Asian presence across North Asia, South Asia, and ASEAN with over $1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM).

Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised 13 funds to date, invested in over 270 startups, and has grown to 13 locations across Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, Riyadh, Shanghai, and Singapore.