Startup pitch: Orbirental offers a booking engine for vacation rentals

Orbirental is a vacation rental management platform specialist based in San Francisco that launched last year after raising a seed round from Paris for Rent, a luxury rental agency.

The startup claims to have signed up more than 2,000 property owners and agencies as customers.

When Airbnb came along, many property managers saw their businesses become more complex. Orbirental’s founders argue that their API-driven platform is built to cope with these challenges.

Their product’s key advantage, they say, is that it features a workflow engine that is superior to what’s provided by the mainstays of the software market, such as Streamline and HomeAway’s Escapia. They call it a business process management platform for staff.

Orbirental has done a one-minute video pitch by Stephan Osmont:

A Q&A with co-founder Dean Kelly:

What problem does your business solve?

At Orbirental, our purpose is to simplify the vacation management process and increase rental revenue for all property owners and property management companies. We have done this by building an innovative and open technology platform that automates most of the work, helping hosts focus on hospitality rather than operations.

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

Stephan Osmont, Orbirental’s CEO and founder, has 15 years internet software experience as the co-founder and CTO at multiple funded startups. Stephan recently sold his company Intweetiv to PostPlanner, and also manages four of his own vacation properties.

Dean Kelly launched, one of Australia’s largest online furniture and homewares companies, as well as HeyLets, a global social travel app now in over 130 countries.

Orbirental has 3 full time staff.

Funding arrangements?

Orbirental is now looking to raise money to fuel growth and product development and quickly capture the massive opportunity that exists in a rapidly growing market.

Revenue model?

Orbirental charges a monthly subscription fee based on the number of properties under management as well as the features needed by the particular PMC or owner.

This enables the software to scale as the company scales, and is unlike other Vacation rental Management software providers which have a “take it or leave it” cost where you need to buy the entire software even though you may not need certain features.

Orbirental also offers the ability for PMCs to customize various features of the software for an additional cost, and can provide agencies with a fully integrated white-labeled site for them to manage their properties.

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

When Airbnb came along fuelling the emergence of the sharing economy, this brought with it a huge impact on the Vacation Rental market, and in particular, the management of vacation rental properties.

There was an increase in complexity in managing properties across different platforms, and increase in competition as more inventory came online. As such, time, and responding to time-driven events in a timely manner, has became an even more critical component of success.

Finally, price, and in particular, dynamically pricing properties based on demand and supply, has become even more important in order to ensure you’re still receiving enquiries for your property.

Responding to enquiries in a time-driven manner, implementing dynamic pricing and being able to manage and scale your business without increasing costs, will determine which PMCs are able to succeed in this new market.

Critical to this is the software that PMCs and property owners use, and at Orbirental, we have solved this problem for them. We provide systemic process automation to streamline these key components, allowing PMCs to decrease operation costs and increase rental revenue.

External validation?

We are fortunate to have some exceptional advisors in Duncan Logan, who is the founder of Rocket Space in San Francisco, as well as the owners of Paris for Rent which is a luxury Parisian Vacation Rental company.

We have integrated with best practice partners including Beyond Pricing, IglooHome, and channel partners such as Tripping, MyBooking Pal and Rentals United. Many more partnerships will be announced in the coming months.

Tnooz view:

Orbirental is generating revenue from paying customers and has already integrated with several partners through its open API for home- and price-automation, accounting, cleaning and services, insurance, channel management, and metasearch distribution.

The market leaders have a big head start. User acquisition is always tough and, with Orbirental’s still new, it’s hard to judge what uptake it will have.

But there’s more than one permanent home in the B2B software market for rental managers, given that the worldwide vacation rental market has been forecasted to grow to $169.7 billion by 2019.

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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