Bob W, a Helsinki-based hospitality startup, has raised €4 million in a seed round led by byFounders and joined by real estate investors NREP and Estonian firm Kaamos. Additional investors include Baltic VCs Superangel and United Angels, and other angels from Germany and the Nordics.
The Finnish startup offers an accommodation hybrid between hotels and short-stay apartments or hosted homes like Airbnb, which guests can rent nightly, weekly, or monthly. Currently operating in Helsinki and Tallinn, the business outfits tech-enabled apartment hotels in popular neighborhoods. The hospitality company also touts its ‘Ridiculously Clean Standard’, a 63-step protocol to clean, sanitize, disinfect, and seal every suite. According to a press release, the program uses specialized equipment such as electrostatic disinfectant sprayers.
CEO and co-founder Niko Karstikko laid out the advantages of Bob W’s business model in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic: “Thanks to our combination of touchless hospitality features including online check-ins, 24/7 keyless entry and chat-based customer service, zero required face-to-face interaction, absence of shared spaces such as front desks, and the recently launched ‘Ridiculously Clean Standard’, Bob W is the smartest, safest, and cleanest hospitality choice in the new normal.”
With plans to surpass 1,000 units across the Nordics, Baltics, and the UK over the next two years, the startup says its also developing a full-stack hospitality tech platform that will “serve as the foundation for a more asset-light growth strategy going forward.”