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