Conichi attracts funding from HRS for beacon-based hotel app
Conichi, a mobile application to improve hotel stays, has received a “high” seven-figure investment from hotel booking specialist HRS.
Germany-based HRS will take an undisclosed stake in the app service and it will also be integrated into the HRS app going forward.
When a guest enters the hotel, the app uses beacon technology to send his or her preferences directly to a tablet at reception. Preferences could include anything from allergies, room amenities, late check-out etc.
The Berlin-based startup also enables travellers to pay the hotel bill or mini bar from within the app to make for a faster checkout.
Conichi claims this is the first time mobile payment is widely available to hotels across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In a statement, founder and chief executive Max Waldmann says:
“HRS gives us access to a large number of hotels that are open to innovation. At the same time, we remain independent and can continue pursuing our own strategy.”
The startup is currently working with 50 partner hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will continue to focus on that region initially.
Waldmann adds that the digital age means less tolerance for “rigid structures” from guests and an increasing desire for flexibility and personalisation.
Conichi points to research from the German Travel Association showing that almost three-quarters of travellers value travel apps for the improved service and comfort they offer while a Google study shows 61% of business travellers check-in via smartphone.
HRS chief Tobias Ragge says the app “addresses the rising needs of guests”:
“This especially applies to members of Generation Y who are constantly online. We followed the idea of conichi early on and supported the founders financially, also facilitating access to the market.”
The whole area around hotels and personalisation as well as providing guest services via mobile is hotting up with hotel giants such as Hilton introducing mobile check-in and, more recently, keyless entry.
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