Yanolja, a global leisure platform company, has invested USD 15M for a significant strategic stake in leading Southeast Asian economy hotel chain and online booking platform, ZEN Rooms with the right to acquire 100% of ZEN Rooms in the future.
ZEN Rooms, founded in 2015 by ex-Foodpanda co-founder Kiren Tanna and Nathan Boublil, operates an economy hotel chain and online booking platform in 5 major Southeast Asian countries, which includes: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Within only 3 years, ZEN Rooms’ business has grown exponentially to over 1,000 economy hotel franchisees and over 7,000 room inventory and established itself as the top-rated affordable franchise in the region, with Customer Review scores of 7.9 on public OTA and review sites.
ZEN Rooms was founded to improve the value-for-money of the Southeast Asian hotel market, helping hotel franchisees be more efficient, competitive, safe & reliable by strengthening their quality standards, resulting in improved customer satisfaction for budget travelers. ZEN Rooms is vertically integrated, combining room booking, branding, sales and management with a self-developed online/mobile platform which distinguishes ZEN Rooms from other hotel franchises. ZEN Rooms now plans to use the capital to expand its inventory base in current and new markets and continue to invest in technology to keep improving the sector’s efficiency.
The Southeast Asian travel market today is the fastest growing worldwide, undergoing a rapid and continuous surge in both domestic and international economy travel demand, similar to China 15 years ago and Korea 5 years ago. In addition, Southeast Asia is a favorite tourist destination for Korean travelers, and 17% of foreign travelers to Korea come from Southeast Asia. Thus, such reputation and growth of ZEN Rooms and established leisure platform of Yanolja make the combination a leading force in the South East Asian travel market.
Co-Founder of ZEN Rooms, Kiren Tanna, commented: “ZEN Rooms’ mission is to provide quality economy accommodation to travelers across Southeast Asia and help our hotel partners maximize their business potential. South East Asia is still at the beginning of both the hotel franchising revolution and its travel demand surge - and we are delighted to join forces with Yanolja to fulfill this mission. Through its leadership in the Korean market, Yanolja has unparalleled hospitality knowledge and has built a highly refined and innovative business model and best-in-class R.E.S.T platform that we are looking forward to bringing to the Southeast Asian market.”
Vice President of Yanolja, Jong-yoon Kim, commented: “ZEN Rooms has built a very impressive business and team within a short timeframe and we are excited to start our collaboration. Starting with this strategic investment into ZEN Rooms, we shall seek to expand to become the most affordable hotel chain and first fully integrated booking platform for leisure activities as well as hotels, going beyond the domestic domain to around the globe.” “In the future, we shall strengthen our leadership as a tech start-up by providing unprecedented and distinguished services to domestic and foreign travelers by applying innovative technologies including IoT and AI.”