Startup Pitch: GuestReady plots to ease workload of Airbnb hosts

GuestReady is another of a growing number of service startups that have emerged to cater for the ecosystem that surrounds the sharing economy.

Working with Airbnb hosts in London and a number of cities in Asia, GuestReady handles property management services online and also a concierge-type product.

The former element covers set-up services such as property photography and creating a listing, alongside check-in and check-out tools, guest communication and screening.

The concierge product covers maintenance and cleaning services for properties.

Video clip:

Q&A with founder and CEO, Alex Limpert:

1. What problem does your business solve?

Homesharing and Airbnb more specifically have grown at an incredible pace over the last few years and many people are looking to participate in this boom.

However, renting a home on Airbnb actually means a lot of effort for the host. A host can easily spend eight hours or more to manage a single guest stay.

GuestReady offers a helping hand to hosts and allows them to participate in the boom of Airbnb without any effort on their end.

GuestReady’s services range from listing management, guest communication, home cleaning, key management, to laundry services. These services can be booked either individually or as a package.

GuestReady operates in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. Being active in both Europe and Asia, GuestReady is the only company providing Airbnb management services on a global scale.

2. Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?

GuestReady was founded by Alexander Limpert (CEO) and Patrick Degen (CFO) together with local co-founders Bertrand Desies (France), Lou Chan (Hong Kong), Idzwan Tan (Singapore), and Wen Dee Tan (Malaysia).

Prior to GuestReady, the founding team has worked primarily at Rocket Internet and gained the necessary experience to scale startups quickly and globally.

Alexander and Patrick know themselves from their studies at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). Currently, GuestReady employs around 20 people globally.

3. Funding arrangements

GuestReady raised an Angel Round in November 2016 and is fortunate enough to be supported by investors who understand the industry very well and can not only support the team financially but also with valuable advice.

Our investors include Swiss Founders Fund (SFF), Georg Bauser (former Director at Airbnb), Senn & Partner Holding (a Swiss real estate company) and other angel investors.

We are currently in talks to raise a Seed Round in H1 2017.

4. Revenue model?

GuestReady offers two main service options with different pricing model. For the full property management option which includes the complete package of services, GuestReady charges typically a commission of between 15-20%.

For the pay-as-you-go option, services such as check-in, check-out, cleaning and linen services can be individually booked directly on GuestReady’s website and are charged in advance on a per service basis.

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

We have encountered a market gap with our services and are approached every day by customers who need our help and are willing to pay for our services.

Hosting on platforms such as Airbnb or HomeAway can easily become a full-time job, but most people have a full-time job already so they need a service like GuestReady to help them.

More and more people have a second home or travel extensively for work or leisure and do not want to have their homes sitting empty.

GuestReady helps them to generate extra income from their homes and they are more than happy to share part of it with GuestReady.

6. External validation?

Since it’s launch in August 2016, GuestReady had a remarkable start. GuestReady has received significant interest from Airbnb hosts and homeowners and has helped them to host over 5,000 guests.

Bringing on board investors with such a strong understanding of the market as Georg Bauser, who has been working closely with Brian Chesky and the leadership team at Airbnb, and Senn and Partners Holding, one of the leading real estate companies in Switzerland, confirms the strong setup of GuestReady.

GuestReady brings tech and hospitality to the real estate sector and is often approached by investors who find the model very exciting.

Tnooz view:

How long the opportunity for peripheral businesses such as GuestReady have in this new market is unclear.

Yet the positives vastly outweigh the negatives at the moment.

With Airbnb’s growth showing no signs of slowing down, there will be ample time for companies that cater for the mechanics of being a host to establish a foothold in the industry.

Similar to the Airbnb’s early days, word-of-mouth will play an important part in the marketing of GuestReady – with hosts and testimonials (hopefully) spreading the word about the usefulness of it service.

But with opportunity comes an addressable market that others will also try to capture.

An ability scale into new markets quickly will be an important part of GuestReady’s strategy, as well as maintaining high levels of service.

Where such startups may find their biggest challenge down the road will be if Airbnb itself starts providing a similar service, or has an official outsourced provider.

GuestReady will need to be ready and positioned to either work alongside that or, perhaps even better, be one of the official partners.

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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.



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