After €10M raise, Airbnb rival Bob W to launch first property in London by Q1 2022


Helsinki-based, Airbnb rival, Bob W has recently announced to have raised a total of €10 million in seed funding. Last year around June 2020, the tech-driven hospitality company raised around €4 million in its first round of seed funding and now has closed €6 million more.

The recent investment was led by byFounders VC and private equity firm Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi). The raise also saw participation from Kaamos, Superangel, United Angels, and NREP via its 2150 investment wing.

Expanding to the UK

As per the company press release, the funding will expand to multiple new markets across Europe, including the UK, to further develop an autonomous hospitality platform and grow the team.

Niko Karstikko, CEO and co-founder, also informed UKTN that Bob W will launch the first property in the UK around Q1-2022, after securing its first apartments in London.

He explained, “This first property will be a purpose-built building solely for us in the east end. Inline with our strong focus on sustainability, the building will be a low carbon, zero fossil-fuel development.”

A BREAM ‘Excellent’ rating represents the top 10% of UK new non-domestic buildings featuring sustainable and low carbon solutions across the board, including a biodiverse green roof.

“Bob W is an example of entrepreneurs who are transforming the accommodation sector by combining a deep understanding of changing customer needs with intelligent technology solutions into a compelling new product offering,” comments Mikkel Bülow-Lehnsby, chairman and co-founder of NREP and partner at the 2150 VC fund.

3x better occupancy than hotels

As the hospitality sector at large has suffered greatly from the reduced demand for accommodation, Bob W informs to have reached occupancy rates as high as 90% at its existing properties in Estonia and Finland. This owes, in part, to the company’s ability to serve both business and leisure travellers for long and short stays as well as their “Ridiculously Clean Standard”, which exceeds WHO recommendations.

“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 NPS (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 CEO and co-founder Niko Karstikko.

Founded in 2018 by Niko Karstikko and Sebastian Emberger, Bob W currently operates in Helsinki and Tallinn .