China’s budget-minded Airbnb clone gets $15 million in funding

China Xiaozhu site like Airbnb

One of China’s top Airbnb-like sites, Xiaozhu, has secured US$15 million in series B funding to help it grow. It comes nearly 18 months after its series A round, which was worth nearly US$10 million.

Xiaozhu (meaning “little piggy” in Chinese) claims to have 2.6 million rooms listed in about 160 cities across China. That’s up from coverage of just 13 cities when we last wrote about the site in January 2013. It seems to focus on the low end of the travel market, with a number of cheap places featuring very basic rooms and even dorm-style bunk beds.

The lack of nice homes – what you’d think of as holiday homes – on the site might point to a broader issue with short-term rentals in China: a lack of trust on the part of landlords.

The homegrown market leader for short-term travel rentals in China is Tujia, which first got series A funding way back in early 2012 and then series B a year later. Tujia seems to be doing much better at attracting owners of quality homes onto the service, and most of the listed properties are mid to high-end.

Xiaozhu is also up against the equally wacky named Mayi (meaning “ants” in Chinese), which also goes for the low end of the market.

Xiaozhu’s newest funding is from Legend Capital and existing investor Morningside Ventures.

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