Berlin-based travel startup conichi has secured a $7.9m (€7 Million) seed-round from Hotel portal HRS. conichi simplifies check-in and check-out at hotels by using Beacon technology to display a guests’ personal preferences — such as allergies, room amenities, or late check-outs — onto a tablet held at the reception once a guest enters a hotel, thereby personalizing the whole experience. It also handles payment.
Maximilian Waldmann, CEO and founder of conichi, said the investment will still leave the startup to plough it’s own path in terms of strategy.
Given that mobile check-ins at airports have long been the norm, checking in to a hotel via mobile seems only natural, assuming it can help you find the elevators, the Wifi code and such like. Plus, hotels need to get more Airbnb-like experiences if they are to compete.
The main advantage for hotels is that they can direct staff away from the tedious check-in process towards a more tailored experience for guests and — presumably — up-selling them into services they will end up adding to their bill, like spa treatments, tennis lessons, or room service.
Currently, conichi works with 50 early partner hotels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In theory, via the SDK Integration with HRS’s platform, conichi will have a reach into 20M devices.
Conichi is also claiming this is the first time mobile payment has become widely available to hotels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, although this it was not possible to confirm this at publication.
Here’s how it works: