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News: Short Lets rival to Airbnb to launch in UK next year

Wed, 14 Apr 21

A Scandinavian company is bidding to create a short lets rival to Airbnb and has announced it is opening in the UK next year.

Bob W has secured Euros 10m and is extending its current offering of short let rooms in its native Helsinki and in Tallinn, to other European locations including the UK in the first quarter of 2022.

It describes its first apartments in London as being in the East End and of a “low carbon, zero fossil fuel, stand alone building” and says the services will be akin to a five star hotel with “ridiculously clean standards” in excess of international requirements. 

The company operates in a contactless fashion via an app, online check-in and autonomous operations - making it ideal during the pandemic, although the design pre-dates the arrival of Covid-19.   

“Despite the pandemic, our revenue grew significantly in 2020 and our occupancy was three times that of hotels. We serviced thousands of guests and hundreds of companies. Our customer satisfaction is high as evidenced by our 93 Net Promoter Score compared to the average of 37 for hotels. Last year, we also launched our own tech platform and grew our team from six employees to 30. We expect to double that by the summer” says Bob W’s chief executive and co-founder Niko Karstikko.

 

 

The absence of significant international travel for much of the past 12 months has led to many existing Airbnb units in London and throughout the UK being put on to the longer-term buy to let rental market, depressing rents in some cases.


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