The Chilean platform that wants to compete directly with Airbnb

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This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

Airbnb is a platform known worldwide for being an alternative for tourists looking for where to stay when they travel.

And while it has become a way to increase the tourist offer in different cities and a form of income for homeowners who offer them there, this and similar initiatives have generated some criticism, especially from the hotel industry, that accuses them of being illegal, of not paying taxes and of harming their business that acts in a formal way. It is in this scenario that some Chileans created a similar site, but that, they say, remedies these questions.

This is Hosted.cl, a website and application, which launched just over a month ago, but which aims to take this summer to gain momentum.

"Born about a year ago, a personal idea product of everything that is in the arena for the tax issue, of companies that pay taxes and others that do not, unfair competition with companies that do everything accordingly. And there are many people who have their piece, a cabin, which has no initiation of activities and leases this, but which unfairly competes with the people who do," says Jorge Jardúa, general manager of the initiative.

This portal complies with all current regulations. "If you have a piece and you have no start of activities, we take that piece and we charge 19% tax." They also deliver a bill and invoice, and pay taxes in the country.

On the other hand, it stands out that for who puts a notice of rent of a piece, cabin, hotel, etc, the service is totally free. "We do not charge them a commission or a membership," he says. How is it sustained? Jardúa explains that the collection of his commission of 7% of the value is included in the rate that is applied to the person who is staying, but he only sees the final price of the accommodation.

Another feature of this platform is that tourists can be found, in the area where it is, with a series of associated benefits that are geo-referenced.

"We invite locals, restaurants, cafeterias, laundries, and car rental companies, to participate with us and to offer discounts on their business in exchange for bringing a flow of people to their premises. Then the person who leases through Hosted will have access to a lot of discounts related to their needs," says Jardúa.

GROW AND SELL?

Currently, they already have an offer of 200 rooms available throughout Chile and are in the process of authorizing another 300, so they are satisfied with the growth they have had. "We have approximately ten people a day, on average, who upload their property (…) last week we had an average of 15 newspapers," he says.

And although they are just beginning, they are already considering growing to other countries. In this regard, Jardúa says that "this is a second stage that is coming soon, but we wanted to first try Chile, where we know and know how it works (the business)", although it confirms that "we are already in analysis and in process to open ourselves to the region".

And just in that context, and having examples like Cornershop, where an innovative idea is bought by another larger company, do you think that, for example, Airbnb, you approach them with that intention? Surprisingly, Jardúa affirms that "we have had two offers, in fact," but adds that the idea is to grow the business "and then, obviously, we are not closed to conversations with investors or potential buyers."

This article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English via Google Translate. Click here to read the original article.

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.