Startup pitch: Aviva IQ gives Airbnb hosts a helping hand

Since its beta launch in late-2016, at the Airbnb Open in Los Angeles, Aviva IQ, has been tapped to automate messages for thousands of listings worldwide.

The Silicon Valley startup offers messaging software for Airbnb hosts who want to automate their messages to guests so that vital, but repetitive/standardised details about the reservation can trickle out over time, at the optimal time.

In short: the idea is to make the process of host-guest engagement more efficient.

Here is a one-minute video pitch:

Here is a Q&A with the founders:

What problem does your business solve?

When a guest makes a reservation on Airbnb, a series of back and forth communications between the host and guest takes place whereby details of the reservation are shared (e.g. where to park, where to obtain the keys, what the WiFi password is, what the check-out instructions are, and more).

Making sure the right information gets sent to each guest at the right time is crucial. But keeping on top of messages can feel like a full-time job, especially for active hosts or hosts with multiple listings.

Aviva IQ’s goal is to dramatically reduce the volume of questions that hosts need to respond to by automating communications. Less time messaging means more time for hosts to focus on growing their business and delivering excellent guest experiences.

Meanwhile, guests benefit from receiving the right information at the right time, making guest travels less stressful and more enjoyable.

The result is an increase in 5-star reviews, which in turn boost a listing’s visibility and bookings, something Airbnb hosts strive to reach and maintain.

Everyone sleeps better.


Names of founders and their management roles.

Deborah and Josh Yuster co-founded Aviva IQ in 2016.

Deborah is originally from Chile, grew up in Brazil, and moved to the United States when she was still in grade school. She has dedicated 18 years to working with high-tech companies including Yahoo and McAfee to manage their brand and marketing communications. The past 4.5 years Deborah has been using Airbnb to host her own guest reservations.

Josh Yuster is from New York City. He’s a serial entrepreneur having started technology companies automating various aspects of travel and CRM. Most recently, Josh helped Oracle transform their legacy software businesses to the Cloud by running global sales engineering for 16 of their business units including Eloqua, Responsys, and Siebel.

Deborah experienced the need for Aviva IQ from managing her Airbnb listings and partnered with Josh to build a first class team, instrumental to building a world-class product.

Funding arrangements

Aviva IQ has been bootstrapped by the founders. We are considering raising capital in 2017 to manage the already greater than expected demand from its recent beta launch.


Revenue model

Aviva IQ has a freemium model. The product is currently completely free, and paid features are on the way.


Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?

According to a study from a home-sharing company, HomeAway, rental owners spend an average of 8.4 hours per week managing their rental properties. In some cases, the sizable workload can be reason enough to stop welcoming guests altogether.

Hosts have been lining up to gain access to Aviva IQ, many of whom have been explaining how much they would be willing to pay for the product, and why.

For example, an Airbnb host named Mario from Los Angeles says “Prior to using Aviva IQ, I missed out on $600 from losing a reservation with a great guest due to the guest not receiving the check-in details in a timely fashion”.


External validation?

By far, the greatest indication of their product’s value comes from our devoted users. Here is what they think:

“By sending all of my important messages for me, Aviva IQ has made managing my Airbnb reservations easier than ever. Setting up the messaging was a breeze so from confirmation to checkout, my guests always have the information they need for their stay. Aviva IQ has been a huge time saver for me.”

Tnooz view:

One of the interesting aspects of the rise of Airbnb and its ilk is that it has opened up the market for side-products to emerge.

Host services (cleaning, laundry, etc) are the obvious ones, giving property owners the opportunity to give their “sharing” business a more professional feel.

Aviva IQ has the opportunity to make some progress on the back of all this.

Where the company could get significant traction is with host management companies or so-called power-renters, becoming part of their wider service provision to guests.

The challenges, of course, are with getting its name in the marketplace (as it will no doubt face competition from other newbies thinking of creating similar products) and getting enough volume of business to grow.

It’s a reasonably niche product, so arguably Aviva IQ’s strategy will have to evolve to include other items over time.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. MikeT

    Good idea but why would anybody give away their AirBnB credentials to a service like this? I think at this point, it is safer for users to hold on until AirBnB provide a proper OAuth API so those providers can provide secure authentication and not give away their credentials. Any other route is really asking for trouble.

     
  2. Ian aka SuperHost

    What is really needed is revenue management applications that integrate with AirBnB. Power renters could see better returns and save a lot of time with the ability to control rates and inventory with one dashboard. Ian

     
  3. Deb at Aviva IQ

    Thank you Kevin for the great write-up, and to the others for joining in the discussion.

    Right now we at Aviva IQ are focused on helping as many hosts as possible.

     
  4. Ian R Clayton

    Its a good idea. Nothing innovative as its all available with almost any auto-responder or mail system. But its useful to Airbnb host who probable don’t know much about sales funnels and dont care to setup auto-responders. Ill let our clients know about it as it may help. Cheers

     
  5. Valentin Dombrovky

    Remain free -> onboard as much Airbnb hosts as you can -> get sold to Airbnb. If Airbnb doesn’t decide that it can develop same features itself.

     
    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @valentin – yes, that’s the danger… Airbnb could just do this itself, with its army of developers, massively weakening Aviva IQ … or it could just acqu-hire these guys…

       
      • Valentin Dombrovky

        In fact, Aviva could go beyond Airbnb like Beyond Pricing did. However, as it’s mentioned that the company was launched at Airbnb Open, guess, there are some “ties” with Airbnb itself. 🙂

         
 
 

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