⦿ INSIGHTS

Investing in the New Normal in Travel

On why we invested in Bob W - an alternative to hotels and hosted homes. By sourcing and decorating high-quality suites in curated neighborhoods, Bob W can offer the livability and affordability of short-stay homes with the consistency and sustainability at scale of a hotel, 100% digital and touchless.
Investing in the New Normal in Travel
WRITTEN BY
Juuso Koskinen
Investor
Ida Åsle
Director of Platform
WRITTEN BY

At one of the most challenging times facing the hospitality industry, we are excited to announce that we have led a seed round of EUR 4 million in Bob W alongside leading Nordic and Baltic real estate investors NREP and Kaamos. Additional investors in the round include the Baltic VCs Superangel and United Angels as well as prominent angel investors from Germany and the Nordics.

In the wake of COVID-19, travelers will be hesitant to book accommodation where they cannot feel 100% secure about hygiene, or where they’ll be forced into oftentimes cramped, shared spaces for interactions such as checking in- and out, breakfast, etc.

Niko Karstikko, CEO & Co-Founder of Bob W

Enter Bob W — an alternative to hotels and hosted homes. By sourcing and decorating high-quality suites in curated neighborhoods, Bob W can offer the livability and affordability of short-stay homes with the consistency and sustainability at scale of a hotel, 100% digital and touchless.

Introducing a “Ridiculously Clean Standard”

Thanks to their unique combination of touchless hospitality features, including online check-ins, 24/7 keyless entry, and chat-based customer service, zero required face-to-face interaction. By the absence of shared spaces, such as front desks, Bob W effectively eschews the issue of one of the key characteristics of hotels, which worries many a traveler in the current climate.

Finally, with the recently launched Ridiculously Clean Standard, we believe Bob W to be the smartest, safest, and cleanest hospitality choice in the new normal. This meticulous 63-step program consists of cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and, finally, sealing every suite. The program, which exceeds industry standards, features highlights such as the use of specialized equipment, including electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and management inspection of every suite before it’s sealing.

Building an asset-light platform for rapid scale

Moreover, While COVID-19 has hit the travel industry incredibly hard, Bob W’s asset-light and tech-enabled model lends itself well to market fluctuations like these. However, Bob’s vision is not merely to provide a safer, reinvented travel experience. Instead, it is to craft a future where tech, hospitality, and real estate come together to maximize efficiency and create value. Beyond plans to expand beyond 1,000 units across the Nordics, Baltics, and the UK over the next 24 months, Bob W is developing a full-stack hospitality tech platform that will serve as the foundation for a more asset-light growth strategy going forward.

Bob W is grabbing hospitality by the horns and reinventing it for the modern traveler

Niko Karstikko, Co-founder & CEO

Since the first meeting, we’ve been impressed with Bob W’s team and what they have accomplished with limited resources. Considering the current situation, hitting the hospitality industry harder than most, our esteem has not waned. While being lean and nimble has been a clear advantage, their super scalable, tech-enabled model lends itself well to market fluctuations.

We believe the founders’ strong complementary profiles and experience make them perfectly positioned to target the intersection between tech, hospitality, and real estate. We look forward to supporting the team on their journey onwards.

Tommy Andersen, Co-founder & Managing Partner, byFounders.



More about the author(s)
Juuso Koskinen
Investor
Ida Åsle
Director of Platform

Ida ensures that we deliver on our promise to founders. As Director of Platform, she is building our catalog of value-add offerings to our portfolio companies by leveraging our unique community. She also sets the strategic direction for our external communication and supports our portfolio companies with communications & PR strategy.

More about the author(s)
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External
June 15, 2020

Investing in the New Normal in Travel

On why we invested in Bob W - an alternative to hotels and hosted homes. By sourcing and decorating high-quality suites in curated neighborhoods, Bob W can offer the livability and affordability of short-stay homes with the consistency and sustainability at scale of a hotel, 100% digital and touchless.

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