Bob W, the ‘tech-driven hospitality provider, raises €10M in seed funding
Bob W, a self-described “tech-driven” hospitality provider that competes with traditional hotels and short-term rentals, has raised €10 million in seed funding.
Founders VC and private equity company Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi) are leading the round, which began with a €4 million first tranche last year. Kaamos, Super angel, United Angels, and NREP are among the other European real estate and venture capitalists taking part (via its anchor investment into the 2150 venture capital fund, which promises to back sustainable urban technologies).
Bob W, which is a play on the term “best of both worlds,” was founded in 2018 by Niko Karstikko and Sebastian Emberger and is described as providing tech-powered short-stay apartments that combine hotel-like standards with the authenticity of individual rentals.
Its “full-stack” model entails sourcing and managing assets as well as providing a guest-facing app that includes chat-based customer service and the contactless online check-in. It also appears to have decentralized the bulk of its activities. As the company claims, “[This] not only minimizes human error but also allows the company to craft the entire guest experience, from booking to check-out, at scale.”
The startup, which has properties in a variety of Nordic markets and is about to launch in London, appears to be surviving the pandemic, with occupancy rates as high as 90% at its current properties in Estonia and Finland. Revenue is expected to increase by 80 % in 2020, with the company focusing its marketing efforts on arguments that it is more hygienic than many hotels.
Niko Karstikko, Co-Founder & CEO of Bob W said in an interview,
“A new generation of travelers have developed a refined taste when it comes to accommodation; they’re mixing business with pleasure and often staying for longer,”.
“They want the reliable quality of a hotel and the authenticity and convenience of a private apartment. The problem is that many hotels feel generic and lack key amenities like kitchens while booking a private rental feels like playing roulette”.
Despite this inconsistency, Karstikko claims that the short-term rental sector has grown steadily over the last decade, with millions of properties available, “demonstrating the demand for home-like settings where guests can live like a local.” And in response to this demand, the idea of Bob W. was born.
“Bob W guarantees the best short-stay apartment experience, which includes the amenities and local authenticity of a home combined with responsive host communication available 24/7, the best professional cleaning program in the industry, curated local service partners (gym, breakfast, etc.), dedicated business services and more”.
This means that guests can rely on “hotel-like consistency” across all of Bob W’s locations, without paying hotel prices and with “the flexibility to stay days, weeks or months”.
A typical Bob W guest, according to Karstikko, is someone who “travels less but stays longer.
He also explains,
“They often mix business and pleasure and come for leisure, work, digital nomad-ery or just to get away and get a taste of living like a local,”
“To do that, they seek out authentic places to stay which also have the amenities and consistent quality they expect, like a fully equipped kitchen and some elbow room. What they want is a home away from home”.
In the meantime, direct competitors include Sonder, Cosi Party, Lime Home, and the hotel and short-stay segments more generally. To that end, Karstikko claims that Bob W is the market’s “most local, authentic experience” and provides the most reliable, yet personalized experience. It also promotes itself as being more environmentally friendly.
Co-Founder & CEO of Bob W, Niko Karstikko said in an interview,
“From powering our apartments with 100 % renewable energy to recycling, minimizing single-use plastic, sourcing furniture responsibly, and [other] green initiatives throughout the business. We’ll have big news soon about how we’re bringing sustainability to the next level because we all need to do more to address the climate crisis.”
Mehjabin Zaman Mahee
Subscribe for newsletter
* You will receive the latest news and updates on your favorite celebrities!
Google is Giving free Classes for Women Entrepreneurs
With an aim to help women to find a better job, make advance their career growth, and to grow their…
SAU On Campus Hult Prize 2021 Final Round Will Be Held Tomorrow
Sylhet Agricultural University is in the running for the Hult prize competition 2021. SAU On Campus Hult Prize 2021 final…
Digital World 2020: Only 1 Day Left for Registration!
T he seventh edition of the three-day digital world from December 9 to 11 is going to organize by the…
E-commerce and F-commerce in Bangladesh During Covid-19
F-commerce (Facebook-commerce) has been a growing field for the last couple of years. The emergence of F-commerce in Bangladesh came as a…
Two Global Tech Giant Google and Amazon Register for Business in Bangladesh
Two Global tech giant Google and e-commerce company Amazon have filed for Business Identification Numbers (BIN) in Bangladesh for the…
Amazon Buys MGM for $8.45 Billion
The e-commerce giant Amazon’s biggest entertainment acquisition will be Metro Goldwyn Myer(MGM). Jeff Bezos’s Amazon buys MGM for $8.45 billion,…
Zeta Becomes a Unicorn with $250 Million Softbank-led Funding
Zeta, a startup that helps banks and fintech firms launch products, now is the newest farm to join the coveted…
EWU Hult Prize 2021 On Campus Grooming Sessions Held
After registrations ceased on the 21st of December 2020, a total of 11 enthusiastic and determined teams moved on to…
3rd Asia Pacific Forum on Youth Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2020
In today’s world, youth leadership programs have gained massive response and significance. The youth of today are better interconnected, creative,…
Startup Chattogram Incubation Opening Ceremony Has Happened
The Startup Chattogram Incubation opening ceremony has happened. In recent years, the ICT Division of Bangladesh has started taking initiatives…