Singapore-based tiny house startup Big Tiny, has raised US$3 million (A$4.2) in pre-Series A funding as it looks to expand in the Australian market
Big Tiny designs and manufactures small guest accommodation in Singapore. It has bases in Sydney and Melbourne where it assembles the houses and deploys them in partnership with host landowners. The venture is now looking to expand into New Zealand next year on the back of the raise.
Singaporean businessman, Koh Boon Hwee led the round with support from Phillip Private Equity, GPPC Capital Limited, and Ascend Angels. The round values the business atUS$22.5 million (A$31m).
This latest funding will be used to build on Big Tiny’s momentum, fuelling further growth in Australia as well as an anticipated expansion into the New Zealand market in 2022. In the last two years, Big Tiny has more than doubled its sites in Australia, from 45 in NSW and Victoria in 2019 to more than 100 in 2021, including in Queensland, South Australia, and most recently Tasmania.
The properties can be booked through Big Tiny’s accommodation platform, Tiny Away.
Co-founder and CEO Adrian Chia came up with the idea in 2017 following a holiday along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. When he returned to his island-state home, he enlisted friends Jeff Yeo and Dave Ng, to launch Big Tiny. The business now employs around 30 people across Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia and in the first six months of 2021, posted revenue growth of 260% on 12 months ago.
“Our ethos is centred on reducing resource consumption and environmental impact without sacrificing the quality of accommodation,” he said.
Chia said the company is now exploring the semi-automation of its manufacturing process to escalate production capacity and capability; and will also look to scale up capabilities across building, sales, marketing, land sourcing and management.
“Big Tiny is planning to open an additional 300 tiny houses over the next year in Australia and New Zealand, and we are constantly engaged in R&D to improve the sustainable technology that’s integrated into our dwellings,” he said
“Everybody in the Big Tiny family is ecstatic. From the start, our vision has been to build a sustainable tourism business that both changes and challenges the holiday accommodation landscape.
Singaporean business leader and investor Koh Boon Hwee he was impressed by the company’s growth despite the impact of ongoing pandemic disruption.
“To have grown a company during the pandemic is incredible and speaks to the value they deliver to their customers,” he said.
“Their eco-credentials also really stand out. Investors, particularly in the travel and tourism space, are increasingly realising that you can marry good economics with being good for the environment.”
The business model sees private landowners within a few hours of the city host and maintain the houses while sharing a cut of the earned revenue from the small getaway.