Be Mate Signs an Agreement with Q Capital for €100 Million to Buy Apartment Buildings

26 March 2018

The company plans to acquire between eight and ten new buildings within three years.

The home rental company Be Mate signed a €100-million collaborative agreement with the investment fund managed by Q Capital to finance its expansion and acquire between eight and ten new buildings over the next three years.

The Sarasola-based company, together with Q Capital, will invest in apartment buildings aimed at medium and long stays for corporate clients.

The agreement, which has already been signed, will allow the apartment-rental company to build “enough momentum” to take on new buildings in the main Spanish cities and in the international regions where Be Mate already operates, the company said in a statement.

“It is undoubtedly a big step in Be Mate’s growth,” said the founder of Room Mate Group, whose tourism rental platform aims in the coming months to exclusively manage buildings within its new business model.

First apartment building

Recently, the company opened its first full apartment building in Madrid, the Plaza de España Skyline by Be Mate. The property has 37 apartments, parking spaces and a 24-hour concierge.

Currently, the platform manages three types of apartments: in online marketing where owners advertise their homes through the Be Mate website, fully managed apartments where the company offers owners to manage the maintenance, cleaning and check-in of customers in addition to marketing the properties) and corporate apartments, aimed exclusively at companies.

Be Mate already has more than 10,000 apartments, 600 of which are managed exclusively. The company is present in twelve regions (eight international) and has revenues of six million euros in 2017. 40% of its clients come from international markets. Recently, Be Mate has seen a twelve-fold increase in rooms sold and a ten-fold rise in revenues.

Original Story: Diário

Translation: Richard Turner

Be Mate Teams Up With Fund Q Capital to Grow its Tourist Home Business

23 March 2017 – Expansión

The businessman Enrique Sarasola has found a new formula for accelerating the growth of Be Mate, the rental platform for tourist apartments, through which he is complementing his Room Mate hotel offering. The plan is to team up with the investment fund Q Capital, which will contribute €100 million of funding so that Be Mate can search for, adapt and manage between eight and ten apartment buildings in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Sevilla.

“The project reinforces the idea that you can’t block progress”, explains Sarasola to Expansión, who also highlighted the importance of the fact that a “team as strong” as the one at Q Capital has decided to back the management of entire apartment buildings. The faces behind that firm include Íñigo Olaguíbel, Borja Oyarzábal and Borja Pérez.

Q Capital, founded in 2016, channels direct investments in Spain from Qualitas Equity Partners. Its objective is to find returns in segments such as SMEs and other niche areas not served by traditional financial operators.

Medium and long stay apartments

This alliance is going to give a boost to the concept already tested by Be Mate in the Plaza de España Skyline building: the management of entire buildings of tourist apartments. This business, inaugurated last year, is proving “a success”, explains Sarasola.

The novelty is not only in the financing, which is going to be provided by Q Capital, but also in the fact that Be Mate is going to go beyond the tourist home service to offer “apartments for medium and long stays, and for corporate use”. According to Sarasola, “it is another change that adapts to our times. We are pioneers in this field, but it is because we listen to our clients and we have identified that the need exists”.

Of the ten or so buildings planned, Be Mate has already identified five. The acquisitions will be undertaken over the next three years, initially in Spain, which is the “priority” market, but not at any price. “We will invest here for as long as the regulations are not prohibitive. If that changes, we will go overseas”, he warns.

Be Mate broke its own revenue record last year, by generating sales of €6 million, 10 times more than during the previous year. It sold 80,000 overnight stays for 30,000 clients, 40% of whom came from international markets. The company offers 10,000 apartments, 600 of which it manages exclusively.

Original story: Expansión (by I. de las Heras)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Be Mate Launches Tourist Apartment Management Business

14 September 2017 – Expansión

Kike Sarasola (pictured below), owner of the Room Mate hotel chain, has taken a new leap forward in his activity as a tourism entrepreneur by taking over the management of a premium building in the centre of Madrid comprising tourist rental apartments. The operation is being undertaken through Be Mate and is the pre-cursor to a new line of business that involves the exclusive management of apartments for third parties, which is expected to grow to include 600 units. As part of its strategy, Be Mate is already considering taking over the reins at two other tourist buildings in Madrid, as well as at another two in Barcelona.

“They might be the best 36 tourist apartments in Madrid”, said Sarasola after announcing the deal, which sees him get ahead of the competition. The building is located on Calle Cadarso, opposite El Tempo de Debod, a premium area in the capital.

The property has a surface area of 3,500 m2 spread over eight floors, two of which, the sixth and seventh, are going to house the most exclusive apartments. The decoration has been entrusted to the architecture and interior design firm ‘Cat in a square’.

The property has already been restored and is owned by a real estate company, which has transferred the management to Be Mate. “Several large funds are interested in this formula”, which generates returns, explains Sarasola. His company will provide the personnel, technological know-how, revenue management and other tools that are synonymous with Be Mate.

Sarasola distinguishes his business from the Airbnb model and says that his facilities have not been included in any of the administrative actions filed against tourist apartments. “We are in favour of smart regulation where good solutions can be found for everyone”.

As it celebrates its third anniversary, Be Mate is getting ready to tackle an “ambitious expansion plan”, which includes opening new properties in London, Rome and San Sebastián, where the hotel chain Room Mate, also founded by Sarasola, plans to also open a new hotel in 2018.

In 2017, Be Mate expects to multiply its turnover nine-fold, to €6 million, by selling more than 80,000 room nights. Its portfolio of apartments has grown to 10,000, and has hosted more than 30,000 guests. 30% of its revenues come from international markets (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Iñaki de las Heras)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Be Mate Buys Alterkeys To Take On More Than 100,000 Apartments

22 January 2015 – Expansión

Growth / The online platform, launched in September, lists 111,000 homes across Europe.

Be Mate, the online platform for tourist accommodation, launched by Enrique Sarasola, the Chairman of the hotel chain Room Mate, has strengthened its business through its first acquisition. The target, Alterkeys, a start-up created in the UK, but based in Spain, has a portfolio of 102,000 apartments located across 42 countries.

The transaction has been completed through a cash payment and a package of Be Mate stock options, linked to the business’s fulfilment of a series of milestones over the short and medium term. Be Mate has financed the monetary contribution, which represents 70% of the total consideration, from its own funds.

Following the acquisition, the management team of Alterkeys, led by its founder José María González, will be integrated into Be Mate, which has hired Jorge Gómez Sancha as CEO. Mr Gómez Sancha founded De Banjo, a company specialising in video on demand, which was subsequently sold to TDF Media Services.

Over the next six months, Be Mate’s team will study the portfolio of apartments listed on Alterkeys to determine how many fit with its business. Sarasola, who together with other partners is the primary individual shareholder of the platform, with a 44.28% stake, calculates that “around two thirds of the properties will be incorporated into Be Mate’s platform”. In the businessman’s own words “this acquisition allows Be Mate to grow very quickly and have a presence in every European capital”. The main markets serviced by Alterkeys are the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Spain, where it lists 10,900 apartments.

Hotel partnerships

Sarasola admits that they have not yet decided how the Alterkeys brand will be used. The question will be resolved over the next few months, once Be Mate, which itself lists 9,000 tourist homes, has had the opportunity to segment the new supply. During the second half of the year, Be Mate will develop partnerships with independent hotels in those cities in which Room Mate does not have a presence, since Be Mate seeks to differentiate itself from other companies, such as AirBnB, by offering certain hotel-style services to its clients during their stay. Be Mate has received more than 1.5 million visits since September and has more than 7,000 registered users.

Original story: Expansión (by Yolanda Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake