Bob W, the ‘tech-driven’ hospitality provider, raises €10M in seed funding



Bob W, the self-described “tech-driven” hospitality provider that offers an alternative to traditional hotels and short-stay rentals, is disclosing €10 million in seed funding.

Leading the round, which included a first tranche of €4 million last year, is byFounders VC and private equity firm Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi). Other European real estate and venture capitalist investors participating include Kaamos, Superangel, United Angels and NREP (via its anchor investment into the 2150 venture capital fund, which promises to back sustainable urban technologies).

Founded in 2018 by Niko Karstikko and Sebastian Emberger, Bob W — which is a play on the phrase “best of both worlds” — is described as offering tech-powered short-stay apartments that combine hotel-like quality with the authenticity of individual rentals.

Its “full-stack” model sees it source and manage properties and provide an accompanying app for guests, with support for chat-based customer service and contactless online check-in. It also claims to have made the majority of its operations autonomous. “[This] not only minimises human error but also allows the company to craft the entire guest experience, from booking to check-out, at scale,” says the company.

Launched in a number of Nordics markets, and on the verge of opening properties in London, the startup seems to be weathering the pandemic, reaching occupancy rates as high as 90% at its existing properties in Estonia and Finland. Revenue is also said to have grown by 80% in 2020, with the company putting a lot of marketing toward claims behind being more (Read more...)