Bob W, which offers short-term rental apartments with hotel-style amenities and contactless check-in, has raised about $11.8 million (€10 million) in seed funding, with private equity outfit Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi), byFounders, taking part.
Skift reported last June on the startup raising the first $4.5 million tranche of the round, with Founders VC leading that tranche. Other venture capital investors participating include Kaamos, Superangel, United Angels, and NREP.
During the pandemic, Bob W has reached occupancy rates as high as 90 percent at its properties in Estonia and Finland. The company has secured its first apartments in London, including a building opening in winter 2021-2022. Bob W is also opening properties in central Helsinki this spring, which was secured together with Sponda, the Finnish arm of The Blackstone Group.
“Despite the pandemic, our revenue grew significantly in 2020,” said Niko Karstikko, CEO and co-founder. “We serviced thousands of guests and hundreds of companies. Our customer satisfaction is high as evidenced by our 93 net promoter score, compared to an average of 37 for hotels.”
Last year the company, founded in 2018 in Helsinki, grew its workforce from six employees to 30. It expects to double that headcount this year.
Giving guests “a sense of place” is part of the startup’s mission.
“We source at least half our décor from local brands, artists, and manufacturers,” Karstikko said. “We do this to give guests an authentic experience, but to also be kind to the planet.”