Sweden-based Instaroom, an online company claiming to be the hotel industry’s ultimate booking, distribution, and technology partner, recently introduced a sort of “concierge platform” enabling hotels to communicate directly with potential guests on their websites.
Launched in 2017 and with six full-time employees so far, Instaroom was founded by a former hotelier and an executive from one of the industry’s well-known accommodation wholesalers.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup?
We believe that today’s travel distribution scene, to a large extent, disconnects travelers with their destinations through an abundance of different “middlemen” – creating an ecosystem that is neither beneficial for the hotel or the traveler.
Instaroom’s building a communication platform that aims to help hoteliers rely less on expensive distribution channels.
We’re powering our concierge platform with the latest in messaging technology, including Artificial Intelligence and Payment integrations, enabling hotels to build personalized and automated customer journeys that are equal or better than any leading consumer-facing booking platform.
For many travelers the hotel is the center of their travels and a big part of the perception of a successful holiday or trip. Empowering hotels with technology that enables them to offer personalized packages and digital concierge solutions, right on their own websites, we will ultimately help to bring hotels closer to travelers.
Our concierge platform is an excellent complement to the hotels existing booking solutions. Imagine, for example, a family looking to book connecting rooms for two adults and two children, plus arrange transportation or airport pick up upon arrival, and reservations for a nice family friendly restaurant that evening.
Today, this type of booking and customer journey requires multiple transactions and multiple emails or phone calls. We want to help hoteliers offer all of these services in one simple messaging flow – from “hello” to “booking confirmed.”
What inspired you to create this company?
We’re hotel people. We’ve been in the industry for decades and see the need for a user-friendly hotelier platform that can engage prospective and current guests – that leads to more direct bookings.
There are tons of data points that support our perceived problem. For example, the average hotel website only has a 2% conversation rate, in large part because hoteliers aren’t offering equal or better user experiences than big B2C travel sites.
That means a whopping 98% of travelers are leaving a hotel’s website without making a booking. Can you imagine that happening to other businesses?
Another supporting data point is that nearly nine out of ten millennials prefer messaging to other communication – and more than half of all travelers will be millennials by 2025.
It’s clear it’s time – or likely past time – for hoteliers to embrace the next generation of travelers and connect with them using an intuitive, centralized messaging ecosystem that engages them and keeps consumers on the hotels’ website.
Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the company?
I think our greatest strength is our team. Collectively, we have decades of combined experience in the industry, ranging from hotel management to travel technology.
We very much believe in our product, but a heavily consolidated distribution scene, where very few companies have access to the different travel segments is probably our biggest challenge or weakness.
Fortunately, this travel vertical is ripe for disruption and the next generation of travelers are literally asking for new and unique digital experiences.
Read more here.
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