Interview with GuestReady: a platform to provide bnb property management services for Airbnb, Booking.com, and other short-term rentals

GuestReady is a web platform based startup, registered in Switzerland for real estate management with a focus on short-term rentals. I conducted an interview with Chris Schalkx, Social Media & Content Marketing Manager of GuestReady.

Techlist: Firstly, can you tell me how did you guys get this idea?

GuestReady: As frequent travelers and devoted Airbnb hosts, we understand the challenges that come with managing an Airbnb rental first-hand. Nowadays, guests expect hotel quality amenities, extraordinary personal service, and on-call services when booking a vacation rental – something that can be hard to keep up with when hosting multiple guests each week. GuestReady was founded in late 2016 with the objective of taking the hassle out of Airbnb hosts.

Techlist: For example, if I am a house owner how can I use your service? What are benefits?

GuestReady: In short, we help property owners increase their income with short-term rental solutions while reducing their workload at the same time. We manage the day-to-day operations of Airbnbs and other short-term apartments, including property listing, guest communication, cleaning, laundry, toiletries and check-in and check-out of guests. Thanks to our team’s expertise in finance, hospitality and property management we help hosts increase their property returns due to dynamic pricing strategies and listing optimization.

Techlist: Currently, what countries are you operating in?

GuestReady: GuestReady is currently active in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paris, Cannes, Porto, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai.

Techlist: How many people are working for it?

GuestReady: We currently have about 100 people working in our offices around the globe, as well as a large group of cleaners, greeters, and technicians to support our on-the-ground operations.

Techlist: Did you raise funding before you get started it?

GuestReady: At our launch in November 2016 the company was boosted by $750,000 seed funding thanks to the Swiss Founders Fund along with Senn and Partner. A contribution was also made by Airbnb executive Georg Bauser. A year later we received $3 million from Impulse VC – a Russian Fund backed by Roman Abramovich who is the owner of Chelsea FC. Other supporters included Xponova and Boost Heroes from Australia led by Fabio Cannavale who founded Lastminute. At the same time, we also acquired one of our competitors – Easy Rental Services – which had been operating for three years in London and Paris.

Techlist: What is the future plan of GuestReady?

GuestReady: GuestReady’s quick scaling isn’t slowing down anytime soon. We have recently launched in Porto, Cannes, and Dubai and aim to start operating in five more markets by the end of this year – mainly in the UK, where we see huge potential. We also aim to expand operational teams in our key markets to take on additional properties without having to sacrifice our premium level of service.

To keep accelerating, we are doubling down on the technical side of our operations. We have recently launched our improved Host Dashboard, allowing us to be completely transparent with the real-time property and income reports that our hosts have access to. We are also investing in the development of additional software solutions to aid us in creating schedules, facilitate in-house bookings and generally make it easier for us to handle multiple booking platforms and properties at scale.

Techlist: Thank you so much GuestReady for sharing about your company. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.

Whyttest opens a Belgrade office

 

Today, a Romanian company, Whyttest reports its first external office opens in Belgrade, Serbia.

Whyttest wrote on its press release, new Belgrade office has now 25 employees to offer testing services for mobile platforms and the team will grow soon.

Whyttest was founded in 2014 in Bucharest, Romania. It currently has a team of 100 specialists to cover testing services for PC, mobile, and console platforms.

 

 

Testbirds raises € 7 million from Wachstumsfonds Bayern

The Munich-based software testing firm, Testbirds has announced € 7 million funding with Wachstumsfonds Bayern.

Testbirds wrote on its press releases, the new money will be invested in the international expansion of the Testbirds team and in the development of new technologies.

Testbirds is one of the world’s leading crowdtesting providers, was founded in 2011, today it has 100 employees with offices in four European countries and over 300,000 testers from 193 countries registered on Testbirds platform to work as freelance software testers. 

Interview with iPaidThat, the Software that Simplifies Accounting with AI

iPaidThat is a French startup based in Barcelona, Spain. Its main goal is to helps entrepreneurs and finance managers to automatically collect their invoices through bots.

I am interested about iPaidThat and then I had a chance to do an interview with Sébastien de Bourgies, marketing manager of iPaidThat.

Techlist: What is iPaidThat? How it works?

Sébastien: iPaidThat is a software using artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect all your invoices automatically in your mail box and on the providers websites. With our partner Bankin, we also collect your banking operations, so then we are able to compare all the datas to see if there’s something missing, and then create your accounting entries. In one click. This process highly facilitates your job and the one of your accountant. You’re no longer bound to search everywhere for missing documents or the relevant banking operation lines, because our software makes it for you.

In addition to these functionalities, our webapp allows all your employees to scan their expenses bills, which are automatically connect to your account then. To finish, an other feature of our website allows you edit invoices very easily for your clients.

Our presentation video (in French) :

Techlist: Who are your targeted clients?

Sébastien: We mostly work with small and medium size businesses but also with some startup companies that already reached the need of digitalising administrative tasks.

In addition, a lot of accounting firms use our software to automatically get all documents and informations they need from their clients.

Techlist: Your startup was founded in 2017, during this year what are the most challenging parts for your startup?

Sébastien: It’s very exciting to see the company growing day by day, with more clients, partners, but also more employees.

The most challenging parts would be creating a MVP and marketing it, adapting his service and dealing between the web developers and business developers visions. Then, raising funds and create a team are both great challenges.

Techlist: I want to ask a last question about Spain. Can you tell me three advantages of starting a new startup in Spain?

Sébastien:

1). The startup ecosystem is rich and powerful.
2). This is an ideal starting point to expand your business in Southern Europe.
3). The life quality is awesome (Standards of living, Vibes and Climate).

Techlist: Thank you so much Sébastien for sharing about your startup. I wish your startup have all the success in 2018.

Interview with Whoomies, an Innovative Roommate Searching App

I had a chance to interview with Lauren Dannay, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Whoomies, a roomate searching app.

Techlist: I heard that two co-founders started Whoomies in 2017. Tell me more about them. Who are they? How they get started Whoomies?

Lauren: The idea for Whoomies came out really naturally through a conversation with Alex, my best friend and co founder.

We have both moved abroad several times and ended up in the most nightmare situations! At that time, he was looking for a flatshare in London and, after his experiences in New York and Singapore, he knew that what really mattered to him was not only the quality of the apartment but also the roommates he was going to move-in with. Perfect timing, I was actually in a flatshare in Paris at that time, and was totally living out the same situation he wanted to avoid. It really dawned on us, if this has happened to us, it has definitely happened to everyone else! Why didn’t we do something about it?

So the idea for Whoomies initially started like this. I quitted my former job in Private Banking and Alex decided to stay in Paris! We started develop this idea of creating a “Tinder for roommates” but it has really evolved as we have come to know more about the housing market and through conversations with our users. We raised 300K€ and launched the app in Sept 17 in Paris and London.

Techlist: How Whoomies Apps work? What countries currently are you operating in?

Lauren: We wanted to make something that was young and playful and most of all super easy to use. Looking for roommates or an apartment is usually a daunting and tiring task, we wanted to change the way people viewed this process. Why couldn’t it be fun?

The Whoomies app brings a fun edge to an otherwise daunting task of finding a home.

The onboarding starts with “Chandler”, our chatbot. Users create profiles in a seamless way that allows our matching algorithm to select ideal flatmates for them. This is a theme that can be seen throughout the app, for example by the use of hashtags that users use to describe themselves in the app, instead of writing up a long bio, such as #Adventurer #CouchPotato #GymRat etc. So there really is an emphasis on the social element of looking for a place seen throughout Whoomies.

Users swipe on the app and begin searching for rooms with their matches. Further to this, the app also offers property listings that allows you find a new room or apartment to rent.

Whoomies covers 25 cities in France, and London.

Techlist: What makes Whoomies different from other services like Roomster or Diggz?

Lauren: Unlike other apps on the market, we flip the search on its head by focusing on people first. Whoomies is an app that aims to solve the issues of flat sharing. Our matching algorithm shows you people you would like to live with. These options can further be filtered by ages, school and nationality. So unlike Tinder you aren’t left with cramps in your thumbs after all that swiping! We then take it a step further and offer rooms on the app that you can filter to your needs and swipe to find rooms that you love.  From keeping track of your bills to pay each other with a simple tap via the app. Those services will be deployed by the end of this year.

With our chatbot, algorithm and easy-to-use interface, Whoomies offers  a unique and innovative user-experience.

We aim to be the one stop shop for everything that flatsharing entails.

Techlist: What is the future plan of Whoomies?

Lauren: Whoomies is made for everyone, no matter your age, if you are living or planning to in a flatshare, we want to help you make the most of this HUMAN and SOCIAL experience.

As said earlier, our vision is to go way further than offering flats and allowing people to match. We expect to offer in-app services to users that will help them manage their daily tasks and budgets with their flatmates and also their agent/landlord, while providing them special offers through partnerships – home services, moving companies, insurances..

The response to Whoomies has been overwhelming, and we expect to grow into other major cities in Europe and in the US, the market is there!

Techlist: In closing, would you like to add anything?

Lauren: Download Whoomies (IOS & Android) to discover roommates meant to live with you! 

Techlist: Thank you so much Lauren for sharing about your company. I wish your company have all the success in 2018.

Interview with Help My Bike President and Co-Founder Gregory Pigierm

I had an interview with Gregory Pigier, he is president and co-founder of Help My Bike.

TechList: Firstly, how your services work? In which areas?

Gregory Pigier: Help My Bike is a mobile bike repair service in Paris. Our repairman comes to you to fix your bike. With the service, we want to help people using bike in there day to day life, from commuting to cycling competition or triathlon.

Bike maintenance could be a big issue in Paris and moving your bike to a shop can be very difficult. For example you cannot travel with your bike in Paris underground.

Now, thanks to our responsive website (www.helpmybike.fr), you simply indicate what ‘s the issue with your bike, where you need the maintenance to happen (at your office, your home..).

Then, we meet you and your bike at the planned address and time.

TechList: How did you get this business idea to get started?

Gregory Pigier: Bike maintenance could be a nightmare in big cities. I’m a city cyclist and was using my bike to commute every day. I see how difficult it could be to have an appointment in your local shop and to move your bike to it!

You cannot travel with a bike in the underground so how do you do if you have flat tire and nothing to repair?

We decided to make bike riders life easier with the repair shop going to you!

TechList: How much do you charge for a bike? Is there any additional cost?

Gregory Pigier: We can execute all type of repairing from the simplest one to full bike check up, installation of a new cassette or chain.

Most of the time we call our customer to understand the type of bike they have and what is the exact issue or necessary bike parts we need to bring.

Cost depends on the type of issue and work, as examples flat tire is 12€, bike complete check up is 50€ just like a traditional repair shop.

TechList: Who are your repairers? How many repairers do you have?

Gregory Pigier: We decided to have our own employees to propose a high level of service.

Our repairers all have a bike maintenance certificate (they all go and pass through a CQP French certificate that guarantees their knowledge in bike repair).

Currently we have two repairers working in Paris and suburb.

TechList: What is future plans for your services?

Gregory Pigier: The future for us is to propose our bike repair service to more and more people.

To do so, we target to work more with companies. We come one day each month, the commuters employees come with their bike, we do the repair work while they are working and the get home with a repaired bike. Great, isn’t it!