The Elevator Pitch
Hostfully, founded by David Jacoby, W’01, Margot Schmorak, and Noah Neiman, helps vacation rentals and short term rentals save time and improve their guest experience. The SaaS platform helps companies create content and share it with their guests in beautiful guidebooks that work on any mobile or desktop device. There’s no app to download, and the first guidebook is free. Hostfully guidebooks help thousands of property managers in 80 countries around the world. They are backed by Acceleprise.VC and Backstage Capital, and the team comes from Apple, NASA, and other venture-backed startups. Hostfully closed a $500K pre-seed round in October 2017–with several customers investing.
There are 50,000 vacation rental companies globally who manage hundreds properties and thousands of guests. These companies are in places like Tahoe, the Jersey Shore, Hawaii, Vail, or San Diego. But technology in this industry has long been neglected. Companies scramble to communicate with guests using outdated 3-ring binders, spreadsheets and antiquated software. Consumer expectations are quickly rising about the level of personalization and quality of communications services that are expected in a vacation rental. This is where Hostfully comes in–to help companies create beautiful, online guidebooks to share important information with guests (See an example here).
Hostfully guidebooks include the following types of information:
- Arrival information, including directions, parking, and lockbox/access info
- Home information, including wifi, laundry info, trash/recycling
- Departure information, including where to leave the key and in what condition to leave the unit
- Local recommendations, including places to eat, activities, parks, museums, and other attractions
All content on the Hostfully platform is provided by the vacation rental company. Since Hostfully launched, users have created content on the platform 36,000 times in 80 countries!
Tech for Everyone
Hostfully stands out from the rest because of how fast and easy it is for everyone (not just the tech savvy) to use. Building recommendations takes just seconds, because of intuitive integration with Google maps and social apps. They make it really easy to search and make changes to hundreds of guidebooks at once. And since they’re a web application, there’s no app to download, and the guidebooks work beautifully on any mobile device, on desktop, and in print. Business subscribers can customize guidebooks with their logo and brand colors.
Another important note is that most vacation rental companies list on several bookings platforms, including Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Booking.com, and many others. They also receive direct bookings through their own website. Because they list properties in different places, they don’t want their guidebook tied to one bookings platform. They’re searching for a third-party, platform agnostic solution. Importantly, Hostfully isn’t competing with Airbnb or any of the other bookings platforms.
Posted: November 15, 2017