Japanese vacation rental management startup H2O raises $7 million Series B from investors including Samsung Ventures

Japan’s tourism industry is booming, but it faces a hotel room shortage, especially in Tokyo as it prepares for the Summer Olympics. H2O addresses the market opportunity with a platform that helps vacation rental owners manage their properties. The startup announced today it has raised $7 million in Series B funding from Samsung Ventures, Stonebridge Ventures, IMM Investment and Shinhan Capital, bringing its total raised to $18 million.

H2O (the name stands for Hospitality 2.0) allows owners to manage operations, housekeeping and bookings from different online travel agencies on its platform, lowering the cost of doing business. The company also recently launched H2O, a vacation rental brand, to expand its real estate development business, including a new hotel near Universal Studio Japan.

The company began in 2015 with Wahome in South Korea, a home cleaning service, before launching H2O two years later after acquiring several hospitality management companies in Japan, including a housekeeping service for vacation rentals. There are currently about 5,000 managed rooms connected to the platform, which is used by about 25 online travel agencies. Since the third-quarter of 2018, revenue has doubled every quarter, says founder and CEO John Lee.

Lee, who studied hotel administration at Cornell University and previously worked in banking at Morgan Stanley, told TechCrunch in an email that there were three market trends that made launching a hospitality business in Japan compelling: strong domestic tourism, increasing inbound tourism and a huge shortage in accommodations. It first focused on allowing flexible housekeeping bookings for vacation rental properties. Then in 2018, H2O expanded to full hospitality management services, including property, yield, revenue and operations.

Lee said that he believes “the core value of the hospitality industry is how to increase the yield of the real estate. I always believed that managing one building with high fixed costs (front desk, housekeeping department, etc.) was very inefficient from building owners point of view.”

H2O’s property management system works by syncing three calendars: guests, rooms and housekeeping. All are linked and automated to prevent double bookings and make sure housecleaning services are available. This allows H2O’s software to manage revenue, inventory and yield on a per room basis and schedule guests and cleanings.

The platform also allows clients to manage multiple properties at once and offer smart locks, online check-ins and chat-based customer service.

In June 2019, Japan implemented the Housing and Accommodations Business Act (also called the minpaku law, after the Japanese term for private residences rented out as short-term accommodations, similar to properties on AirBnb), formally legalizing and regulating vacation rental management. Lee says the new regulation allowed more real estate investors, who already owned other types of hospitality properties, to enter the minpaku market. H2O manages properties under four licenses, including hotel, ryokan and kanishokuksho, but the majority of its properties are under the minpaku law, which allowed it to grow its B2B business.

The average daily rate for accommodations on H2O was around $160 in 2019, with an average occupancy rate of 87%. Of the property owners who use H2O, the majority, or 70%, are real estate property managers, 20% are local property owners and 10% are overseas real estate funds. About 60% of guests who use H2O to book accommodations are inbound travelers (of that number, 40% are from China, 40% are from Southeast Asia, 10% are from South Korea and 10% are from other countries), while the rest are domestic tourists.

In press statement, Eric Kim, senior investment manager at Samsung Ventures, said “We’re pleased to be part of the fastest-growing hospitality company in Japan. H2O has already proven product market fit within Japan, and we expect them to continue to thrive as they expand outside of major cities.”

Where top VCs are investing in travel, tourism and hospitality tech

The venture community has been fixated on travel and hospitality since the dot-com era and early-2000s, when mainstays like Kayak and Airbnb were still Silicon Valley darlings. As the multi-trillion-dollar global travel and hospitality market continues to grow, VCs are still foaming at the mouth for the opportunity to redefine the ways we move and stay around the world.

Despite the cyclical nature of the travel sector, deal flow in travel and hospitality has remained strong and largely stable over the last half-decade, according to data from Crunchbase and PitchBook. Over the same period, we’ve seen more than a handful of startups in the space reach unicorn status, including companies like Klook, Sonder, Flixbus, Vacasa, Wheels Up, TripActions and others.

High-profile funding rounds also appear to be popping up across travel and hospitality’s various sub-sectors, including bookings, activity marketplaces, short-term rental, tourism and hotel platforms. And companies are continuing to pull in funding rounds in the hundreds of millions to billion-dollar range, such as India hotel network company Oyo, which raised $1.5 billion in funding as recently as December.

While VC investment in the space has remained resilient, some investors are predicting it’s only a matter of time before the travel startup world hits a downturn. To get a temperature check on the state of the travel market, the outlook for fundraising and which sub-sectors might present the most attractive opportunities for startups today, we asked five leading VCs at firms spanning early to growth stages to share what’s exciting them most and where they see opportunity in travel, tourism and hospitality tech:

Google Cloud lands Lufthansa Group and Sabre as new customers

Google’s strategy for bringing new customers to its cloud is to focus on the enterprise and specific verticals like healthcare, energy, financial service and retail, among others. Its healthcare efforts recently experienced a bit of a setback, with Epic now telling its customers that it is not moving forward with its plans to support Google Cloud, but in return, Google now got to announce two new customers in the travel business: Lufthansa Group, the world’s largest airline group by revenue, and Sabre, a company that provides backend services to airlines, hotels and travel aggregators.

For Sabre, Google Cloud is now the preferred cloud provider. Like a lot of companies in the travel (and especially the airline) industry, Sabre runs plenty of legacy systems and is currently in the process of modernizing its infrastructure. To do so, it has now entered a 10-year strategic partnership with Google “to improve operational agility while developing new services and creating a new marketplace for its airline,  hospitality and travel agency customers.” The promise, here, too, is that these new technologies will allow the company to offer new travel tools for its customers.

When you hear about airline systems going down, it’s often Sabre’s fault, so just being able to avoid that would already bring a lot of value to its customers.

“At Google we build tools to help others, so a big part of our mission is helping other companies realize theirs. We’re so glad that Sabre has chosen to work with us to further their mission of building the future of travel,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai . “Travelers seek convenience, choice and value. Our capabilities in AI and cloud computing will help Sabre deliver more of what consumers want.”

The same holds true for Google’s deal with Lufthansa Group, which includes German flag carrier Lufthansa itself, but also subsidiaries like Austrian, Swiss, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines, as well as a number of technical and logistics companies that provide services to various airlines.

“By combining Google Cloud’s technology with Lufthansa Group’s operational expertise, we are driving the digitization of our operation even further,” said Dr. Detlef Kayser, member of the executive board of the Lufthansa Group. “This will enable us to identify possible flight irregularities even earlier and implement countermeasures at an early stage.”

Lufthansa Group has selected Google as a strategic partner to “optimized its operations performance.” A team from Google will work directly with Lufthansa to bring this project to life. The idea here is to use Google Cloud to build tools that help the company run its operations as smoothly as possible and to provide recommendations when things go awry due to bad weather, airspace congestion or a strike (which seems to happen rather regularly at Lufthansa these days).

Delta recently launched a similar platform to help its employees.

Travel aggregator Omio hops over the pond to launch in North America

Travel aggregator Omio, which operates a multimodal transport planning and booking platform for intercity and long distance tips, has hopped over the pond to launch in North America — its first market outside its home base of Europe.

From today, consumers in the U.S. and Canada can use Omio’s website or app to compare prices, schedules, duration and other variables for more than 23,000 train and bus routes across the two markets — with booking also baked into the platform. As well as wheeled regional intercity transport options the trip planner tool lets users view, compare and book flights.

Omio says it’s partnered with “leading transport providers” in North America including Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, OurBus and Academy for launch — saying “more routes and providers will be added through the year”.

In total it says it’s partnered with more than 800 transport providers across Europe and North America.

Just over a year ago the Berlin-based startup — formerly known as GoEuro — revealed it was rebranding, announcing an ambition to take its platform global, saying it would rely on an “a la carte” menu of products it had built up to cater to different-sized travel providers since the business was founded in 2013 to help it expand further a field and scale the business globally. Although CEO and founder, Naren Shaam, told us it was still deciding on its first stop beyond Europe at that point — with the US, South America and Asia all in the mix then.

In the event Omio has opted for North America — in spite of the region’s heavy reliance on flights for domestic and regional travel, given a relative paucity of high speed rail infrastructure.

Last February Shaam also told us Omio didn’t want to launch a “lightweight” flight-only product in the U.S. — which likely explains why the launch has been in the works for almost a year as it worked to put in place enough train and bus partnerships to support “thousands” of on-the-ground transport options at launch.

Omio says travellers from North American currently make up around 10% of its customer base — and claims an average of 27M monthly users overall (from more than 120 countries) — giving it a monthly baseline of circa 2.7M U.S. and Canadian users who it can start to nudge towards domestic travel planning, not just foreign trips, and thereby grow usage in a major market.

It also recently acquired rival travel planner startup, Rome2Rio — beefing up its global transport network with transport search and discovery options for more than 10M locations worldwide.

Asked why it picked North America for its first global market expansion, Shaam told TechCrunch: “America is sometimes seen as a market dominated by air and private car, yet there is a huge opportunity for ground transportation (around $8BN according to our data) in specific parts of the USA in particular.

“This, combined with the fact that around 10% of our existing customer base travelling in Europe is from the US and/or Canada, means it’s a compelling market for us. South America and parts of Asia are still markets we’re actively interested in — we don’t see it particularly as a question of either/or but have chosen to focus resources on North America to start with. Plus, our product market fit is natural in certain corridors. Like NE corridor, where with a little bit of effort we can meaningfully create a superb experience for customers there.”

He said Omio will focus initially on digital marketing (“across a range of channels”) to grow usage in the region, including looking to do so via partnerships. “We expect to test and learn in terms of the exact shape and spend,” he added.

On competitive landscape Shaam says Omio has various competitors in different markets — but named Wanderu in the U.S.

“We believe there’s a number of things that set us apart from other search or booking platforms,” he added, discussing differentiation. “In particular, it’s possible to directly compare different modes at-a-glance and then book them onsite with Omio. This means customers benefit from our easy-to-use platform all the way from search to post-booking, including our customer service. Secondly, our breadth of inventory: We offer trains, bus, flight, as well as ferries and airport transports. Many of our competitors offer just one or two modes, so consumers don’t have the opportunity to fully compare their options.

“Our app is also a key differentiator: it’s free to use (and no need to register just to try it out) and was recently named one of the best ‘Everyday Essentials’ by Google.”

Shaam declined to specify Omio’s target for user growth in its first year in North America, saying only: “We hope to see our product become part of the everyday for travelers, and especially those already familiar with us from their European travels.”

Asked where else its global expansion plan might take it this year he pointed to the Rome2Rio acquisition, saying that’s something it’s building on — to give it “reach into other countries”.

“Right now, as well launching in North America our focus is on continuing to expand within Europe both in terms of geography and modes of transport, for example with ferries and airport transfers,” he noted, adding that the expansion plans “don’t stop there”.

“We’re also building on our recent acquisition of Rome2Rio which, as we begin to link parts of the two products together, will give us reach into other countries. And we’re continuing to look at completely new markets; we’ll share more when the time is right,” he added.

GetYourGuide widens its horizons, will expand its Originals short tours into day trips and more

GetYourGuide has made a name for itself as the startup that helped the stale idea of guided tours for travellers on its head. Tapping into the generation of consumers who think of travel not just as going somewhere, but having an “experience” (and, ideally, recording it for Insta-posterity), it has built a marketplace to connect them with people who will help guarantee that this is what they will get. It’s a concept that has helped it sell more than 25 million tickets, hit a $1 billion valuation, and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in VC funding.

And the startup has grown quite a lot since passing the 25 million mark in May. “We’ve had 40 million travelers over the last 12 months. We’re the market leader in every European geography. We’re #2 in the U.S. and about to become #1,” co-founder and CEO Johannes Reck said at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin.

Now GetYourGuide is taking the next step in its strategy to expand its touchpoints with users, and grow and diversify its business in the process. The company is expanding its “Originals” business — its own in-house tour operation — into one-day tours and other longer journeys, with the aim of hitting 1 million sales of Originals this year. It will kick off the effort with a small number — between five and 10 — one-day tours in different exotic locations. Examples will include “dune-bashing in Dubai,” glacier excursions from Reykjavik, and trips to Bali’s “most instagrammable hidden spots.”

GetYourGuide Originals have been working well. “We’ve had tremendous success, we have an average score of 4.8 [out of 5] compared to 4.4 for the other marketplace activities,” Reck said. Originals have a 40% higher repeat rate than other activities.

“And we’re now extending it to day trips. For those who are not familiar with the travel experience, day trip is the single biggest vertical inside of experiences,” Reck said.

Originals was launched a year and a half ago as a way for GetYourGuide to build its own tours — which it kicked off first with shorter walking tours — as a complement to the marketplace where it offers travellers a way of discovering and purchasing places on tours organised by third parties. Today it offers 23 different Originals in 17 cities like Paris, London, Berlin and Rome.

Up to now, GYG has sold some 200,000 places on its Originals tours — which is actually a tiny proportion of business, when you consider that the number of tours booked through the platform has passed 25 million.

The startup likes to describe its own Orignals as “like Netflix Originals, but in the real world!” And that analogy is true in a couple of ways. Not only does it give GYG more curatorial control on what is actually part of the tour, where it’s run, who guides it and more; but it gives the company potentially a bigger margin when it comes to making money off the effort, and means it does not have to negotiate with third parties on revenue share and other business details.

That’s, of course, not considering the challenges of scaling in this way.

Adding in more Originals and extending to transportation to get to the destination (and potentially staying overnight at some point) will mean taking on costs and organizational efforts, and risks, around more operational segments: making sure vehicles are safe and working, that hotels have clean sheets (and rooms), and more. More things can go wrong, and customers will have many more reasons to complain (or praise). It will be one of those moments when the startup will have to rethink what it’s core competency is, and whether it can deliver on that.

On the other side, if it works, GYG will diversify its the business while finding new revenue streams. But the strategy to grow Originals is a logical next step for other reasons, too.

The most important of these is probably competition: GYG may have been the pioneer of hipster travel experiences, but today it is by no means the only company focusing on this segment. Companies like Airbnb and TripAdvisor have tacked on tours and “Experiences” as a complement to their own offerings, as ways of extending their own consumer touchpoints beyond, respectively, booking a place to say or finding a cool place that popular with locals, or figure out what attractions to see.

Get Your Guide needs to find ways of keeping existing and new users returning to its own platform, rather than simply tacking on its tour packages while organising other aspects of their vacation.

The other is that, as Get Your Guide continues to break ground on changing the conversation around travel, building its own content rather than relying on others to fulfil its vision will become ever more essential, and paves the way for how the company will approach adding ever more components into the chain between your home and your destination.

Tastemakers raises $1.4M to sell Africa experiences to the world

New York based startup Tastemakers has raised a $1.4 million seed-round—led Precursor Ventures—for its business that connects Africa adventures to global consumers.

Tastemakers’ platform curates, prices, and lists African travel and cultural experiences—from paragliding tours to wine-tasting to concerts.

The startup generates revenues by taking a 20% commission on each transaction. Community managers in Africa screen and select experiences that go up on the site .

Tastemakers will use the investment to grow the number of experiences offered from 200 to 10,000 and build out machine learning capabilities to better match suppliers, experiences, and clients—CEO and founder Cherae Robinson told TechCrunch.

She likened the site to an Airbnb for commoditizing and connecting people to Africa travel experiences at scale.

On the startup’s addressable market, Robinson references a segment of culture curious travelers: people who are travelling to experience things such foreign art, food, music, or dance workshops.

“We looked at who’s doing these kinds of tours and and the number of people booking…and we found that globally, based on triangulating that, there are about 700 million people globally booking culture forward experiences,” said Robinson.

For different reasons—from negative stereotypes or the difficulty of identifying tourist options in Africa—most of these excursions are occurring in other parts of the world, according to Robinson.

She sees Tastemakers’ value proposition as the site that can bring a greater percentage of these culture travelers to Africa.

On revenue potential, Robinson is pretty up front on numbers and goals. “If we can capture 1% of that [700 million] market in the next five years that’s $2.2 billion generated on our platform,” she said, noting an average booking cost of $308. She believes Tastemakers could hit those figures by 2025—and by applying their 20 percent commission—reach income of $434 million.

Tastemakers Africa Ghana III

Precursor Ventures Managing Partner Charles Hudson invested in Tastemakers for its potential as an early entrant in an off the grid travel market attracting more curiosity.

“I just had a sense that Africa was having a moment, and whether its Black Panther or more startups that have a foot in Africa, that there were more people interested in going to Africa,” he told TechCrunch.

“And it’s not like going to New York City…You have providers that are hard to find and hard to book..that are not super well marketed. If you can become an aggregator and curator of those, you could effectively become the largest source of lead generation,” Hudson said.

Tastemakers is looking at  ancillary partnership and revenue share opportunities. It uses Stripe and WorldRemit to process mobile payments for transactions on the site and has done promotional partnerships with Uber Africa. The startup also counts Kempinski Hotels as its biggest lodging partner.

Tastemakers also offers advisory services to sellers on the site, to better determine price-points and on marketing their travel experiences more effectively online.

CEO Cherae Robinson is clear about the company’s for-profit status, but sees upside for Africa beyond generating business from tourism. “I strategically don’t brand Tastemakers as a social impact startup…but we’re driving benefits of the sharing economy to diverse populations both in Africa and in underrepresented communities in the technology and tourism sectors,” she said.

 

Andreessen Horowitz values camping business Hipcamp at $127M

Hipcamp uses technology to get people away from technology.

The San Francisco-based startup provides a “people-powered platform” that unlocks access to private land for camping, glamping or just a beautiful spot to park your RV, as described by Alyssa Ravasio, founder and chief executive officer. Amid explosive growth in emerging markets, including Florida and Texas, the company has attracted a $25 million Series B investment at a valuation of $127 million.

Andrew Chen, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has led the round and will join Hipcamp’s board of directors as part of the deal. Caterina Fake of Yes VC, Sarah Tavel of Benchmark, August Capital and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participated in the financing, which brings Hipcamp’s total funding to $41.8 million. We first covered Hipcamp in 2014, when the nascent startup raised a $2 million seed round led by AlphaTech.

A self-described internet nerd and avid camper, Ravasio loves the outdoors, as you might’ve guessed. She founded Hipcamp after becoming frustrated with the complex process that is identifying and booking campsites across the U.S.

“I couldn’t believe how difficult the whole process was,” Ravasio told TechCrunch. “I had one camping trip where I spent five hours doing research and almost gave up … I realized camping was broken and the internet could fix it.”

In 2013, Ravasio learned to code and built the first iteration of the Hipcamp platform, a comprehensive database of campsites that earns money by taking a commission made from each booking it facilitates. Today, the company has grown to 40 employees, with campsites in 300,000 sites across the U.S. and plans to expand internationally soon.

“We’re committed to getting people outside, and that’s really the guiding light of our expansion plans,” she said.

As for long-term plans, an Airbnb acquisition wouldn’t make sense, Ravasio explained: “I think going public and making Hipcamp a company that anyone can buy and own part of is exciting to me”

Airbnb introduces new search tools for business travelers

As more companies turn to Airbnb for Work to arrange work trips, the vacation rentals, homes and experiences business is making things easier for business travelers.

The company already provides thousands of listings catered to business travelers, complete with flexible access, personal kitchens for home-cooked meals and/or on-site laundry. Now, customers can easily locate those listings with Airbnb’s new search capabilities for business trips.

Airbnb’s work trip toggle, available globally as of today, allows guests to customize their search results for work travel and make more informed booking decisions by immediately filtering out vacation homes and other less convenient offerings. Airbnb is relying partly on social recommendations to ensure the correct listings — which includes entire homes, Airbnb Plus homes and boutique hotels — are showcased, including listings that have positive ratings from business travelers specifically.

Airbnb for Work launched in 2014 and has quickly grown to account for a large chunk of the company’s overall bookings. Last year, to account for the popularity of the service, Airbnb expanded its work arm to include Airbnb Experiences tailored for teams and more. Today, 500,000 companies are using Airbnb for Work to help manage their business travel.

Airbnb’s latest product tweak shows how personalized the platform can become — and is becoming — as it accumulates data from its massive trove of customers. The company, which counts 6 million listings in more than 100,000 cities, is doubling down on customization, M&A and more as it prepares for an initial public offering expected soon.

GuestReady raises $6M to help hosts on Airbnb and other services manage their property

GuestReady, a three-year-old service that lets shared-economy hosts manage their business on Airbnb and other rental sites, has announced a $6 million Series A round.

The investment was led by existing backer Impulse VC — the Russian fund that is backed by billionaire Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich — and new addition VentureSouq from Dubai. Other past backers also took part, including Boost Heroes, Aria Group and 808 Tech Ventures. GuestReady raised $3 million in 2017 and this round takes it to nearly $10 million from investors to date.

GuestReady’s property management platform helps owners manage the intricacies of operating a shared-economy house, such as cleaning, laundry, and check-in and out services. It claims to cover over 2,000 properties across six countries: the UK, France, Portugal, UAE, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Airbnb is the obvious platform to work with, but a sizeable volume of business comes from Expedia’s HomeAway business and Booking.com, GuestReady CEO Alexander Limpert told TechCrunch in an interview.

Limpert added that GuestReady’s annual booking volume is close to reaching $50 million on an annualized basis. Over the last year, the company’s take-home revenue has tripled with a lower burn rate, he added, although he declined to provide specific figures.

The GuestReady Team

That growth has come courtesy of a series of M&A deals.

Indeed, this new infusion of cash comes months after the company completed its fourth acquisition to date, snapping up France-based rival BnbLord, a startup that it claims is the largest Airbnb host platform in France and Portugal.

That deal, which Limpert said is the company’s largest to date, was a “strategic play to become the market leader in Europe” — and it could be followed by others.

The GuestReady CEO said the company is engaged in “quite a few conversations right now” over potential acquisitions, with this new capital potentially fuelling those moves.

“We believe the market [for guest services] will consolidate,” he said, explaining that many young companies start out with promise but struggle to scale successfully once they hit 50-100 properties under management.

“They realize this is an intensive business without good processes and technology,” he added.

Still, the company is likely to retain the focus on its current markets with the potential to add “one or two” new cities further down the line.

“For now, we’re seeing so much potential in our current markets,” explained Limpert. “London and Paris are two of Airbnb’s biggest markets globally, for example, with 60,000 properties… we manage a couple of hundred of them.”

In travel tech, 4 rivals merge in Europe to form Altido for property management of Airbnb-style homes

The growth of Airbnb and other big travel startups has given a fillip to the wider travel industry, and today several smaller startups in the short-term property sector are announcing that they have merged to tackle the opportunity with more scale.

The UK’s BnbBuddy and The London Residents Club, along with both Hintown from Italy and RentExperience from Portugal — all companies that help manage properties that are listed on platforms like Airbnb — have combined to form a new startup called Altido.

Going into the merger, all four were profitable, having all been boostrapped from day one. But Michael Allen, the MD of the BnbBuddy, said that now the combined entity is using its scale and raising outside funding to grow the business. Altido is looking to raise a Series A in the tens of millions of dollars. It is not disclosing its valuation currently although the fact that it already has an international presence and profitability have helped it in this area, Allen said.

The combined company will have about 1,700 properties under management in 21 European destinations, which it will be using as the anchor for an aggressive push both on existing markets as well as other parts of Europe and beyond. There is a long way to go: as a point of comparison, when Guesty — which provides services to manage rentals of private homes on Airbnb and other services — announced $35 million in funding in March, the number of properties managed on its platform had reached 100,000 across 70 countries.

Other competitors will include the platforms themselves where these properties are getting listed: as Airbnb inches to an IPO, it’s adding ever more services and features to its platform to diversify its revenue streams and also bring in more revenues per customer. (As we’ve said before, that could also make Altido and others like it acquisition targets.)

The growth of Altido’s individual businesses up to now has been on the back of the massive growth surge we’ve seen around platforms — marketplaces, to be more precise — that help people easily list and rent out travel accommodation in private homes as an alternative to hotels; and would-be visitors to find, book and pay for these in an efficient and reliable way, alongside a wider growth of self-catering accommodations that exist as alternative to traditional hotels.

The wider market for “homesharing”, as the first of these categories is sometimes called, has become massive — with Airbnb, the outsized startup leading the charge, now valued at $35 billion — and it now accounts for some 20 percent of the supply of rooms globally by Altido’s estimate.

Some property owners are happy to play host and run and manage their own listings on these platforms — which include the likes of Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO, and many others — but a big part of the scaling of these services has come by way of third-party management companies that handle different aspects of those listings, from cleaning before and after guests and stocking kitchens and bathrooms with consumables; to managing the relationship with the visitors; to managing the listings themselves.

Altido provides an end-to-end service for those who do not want to play host, alongside a business where it also helps maintain and manage service apartments and aparthotels and guesthouses.

Today the companies that make up Altido rely on third-party platforms to disseminate all those listings, but longer-term, the plan will be to build out more services to offer listings directly as well, alongside more technology to help hosts and other management companies optimise pricing and details around the properties themselves to make them more attractive.

“We see tech as a big enabler,” Goncalo Ribeiro, the founder of RentExperience, said in an interview. He said that his company already has proprietary algorithms that it uses to help calculate property risk factors, which it already uses and will roll out across the whole of the merged company, and the different operations have already been building technology to help onboard properties more efficiently. Areas that it hopes to address include “regulation risk, potential growth rates, historic market data, marketing calculations and more. Any decision we take we want to be proven by data.”