BERLIN (Reuters) – Many travel tech companies in Europe have suffered a setback in the form of the business virus epidemic and governments have been forced to curb people’s antics, but a US startup has pushed forward its growth plan .
Limehome https://www.limehome.com, now expanding into Spain from its German and Austrian home markets, leading a “contactless” option for traditional hotels with curated, designer to handle bookings The apartment has an AirBnB-style platform.
As governments imposed a lockdown in the spring, Limhom suffered a temporary hit for booking. But between May and September, it operates at 85% capacity on its 45 properties. Development of another 35 is underway.
“During the first lockdown, we were really lucky,” co-founder Joseph Volmeyer told Reuters, noting that business travelers had closed the hotel in Limeholm as soon as it closed: “We became more relevant.”
AirBnB expects next week to publish its registration to swim in New York, an epidemic of bookings leading to holidays from practicing social misconduct.
Limehome, an early-stage venture at the age of two, recently topped a Series A funding round led by HV Capital for 31 million euros ($ 36 million). It will participate in launching in the Spanish cities of Granada, Seville and Barcelona.
More mature travel technology, like tourism and travel specialist GetyGuide, has meanwhile cut staff for new funding in the form of convertible notes and turned to investors – a downpayment on future equity funding rounds that cater to the current climate will be difficult.
Munich-based Limeholm differs from AirBnB in that it works with owners to design and furnish apartments to their own standards – often converting empty city space into boutique ‘separate hotels’.
On the digital side, it manages booking, checking, cleaning, service and billing. It relies heavily on reservations through online travel agents such as Booking.com or Expedia, but the share has risen to 30% through its own platform.
With governments again prohibiting tourism and ordering hotels to close a second COVID-19 wave, Limehome still expects business travelers to keep their flats busy.
Airline-style yield management systems, which can reduce prices at the last minute to attract bookings, help keep occupancy rates high and support positive margins even at low prices.
“We’re open. Market prices are low. But we’re the thinnest product out there,” Wollmeyer said ($ 1 = 0.8560 euros)
(Reporting by Douglas Buswine; Editing by Angus McSwan)
Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.