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GETTING STARTED: StayTick is a membership-based hotel booking platform

StayTick

For an annual fee of €25, StayTick says its members save up to 25% on bookings at more than 500,000 hotels worldwide.

The founders have experience in traditional travel agencies as well as companies such as Barcelo Group, Expedia and BeMyGuest.

What’s your 30-second pitch to investors?

StayTick is a membership-based hotel booking platform that lets you book hotels at an exclusive price not available on any other website. StayTick helps you save time and money.

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your startup.

As a membership-based hotel booking platform, we help our members book their stays at really low prices and save big on their travels. At StayTick, we’ve built our own technology house by creating a solid foundation of connectivity with numerous chains, hotels and third parties to get the maximum number of rooms and properties available at each destination. Then our algorithm finds available rooms, compares them with other OTAs, displays the lowest rates and calculates how much the user will save if they book on Staytick.com.

Give us your SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the company.

  • Strengths: Knowledge of the team, expertise in travel, technology and finance, in addition to our previous experience in launching startups, success in fundraising, revenue generation in niche markets and business segments.
  • Weaknesses: Membership-based hotel booking is a new concept for the end user even though there are many services with monthly and yearly subscriptions around us like gyms, streaming services, e-commerce, etc But when it comes to travel, it’s still a new concept that needs to make itself known. We don’t have deep pockets like the OTA giants. We are a small and young team, and at the moment StayTick is only available in English and Spanish.
  • Opportunities: Through our technology and platform, we are able to unlock the best prices for our customers, and the savings are truly demonstrated from the first booking, thus the number of new daily subscribers is growing rapidly. Opening more markets in Europe will contribute to faster scaling. We also plan to add other products, such as rental cars, transfers, cruises using the same technique and technology. We believe there are a lot of good things to do, we’re super excited about it.
  • Threats: Catastrophic scenes such as COVID-19, climate issues, drastic changes like what we are experiencing right now, economic crises, all of these will impact our growth, which is why we would like to vary our range of products offered to expand customer base and not depend on a single market or a single service.

What travel pain points are you trying to alleviate from both a customer and industry perspective?

Nowadays, customers know when and where they would like to go, but the price remains a key factor for the final decision. They spend long hours trying to get the best deal. We help our members book the hotel they want at really low prices and therefore save money. Once a member has tried our tools, they stick with it and continue to book through us. Why pay more for the same room if you can get it much cheaper?

So you have the product, now how are you going to get a lot of customers?

We learned to choose the battles we could win. Obviously, we cannot compete with other OTAs who have huge budgets to spend on online marketing. It’s a busy area, which is why we do it the old fashioned way – we do a lot of cold calling and partnering with groups, businesses, gyms, associations, communities, etc. We go directly to customers who we believe will use our service, introduce them to our service and our tool, and the value we bring to the table.

StayTick could be the ideal solution for many companies that want to offer great value to their customers – we can work with airlines, car rental agencies, car rentals, etc. Many companies could offer Staytick membership to their customers as a bonus. connect with their customers and make them happy.

Tell us what process you followed to establish a real need for your business and the size of the addressable market.

In December 2020, we were inspired by the business model of Amazon Prime, where customers pay to get the service faster and also get more benefits. Why not get around the problem and accommodate hotel reservations? Customers make an annual subscription and in exchange they will start saving from the first booking, and they will book again because the value is super clear and well demonstrated. Now, with the global reopening, we expect the number of subscribers to increase and therefore overnight bookings will follow.

How and when will you earn money?

We earn money from subscriptions and we also take a share from each reservation. According to our survey, average subscribers make two to three reservations per year with an average length of stay of five to seven nights.

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the founding team?

The two founders come from the travel industry:

  • Mavi Garay – has run her business as a boutique travel agency for 15 years with a strong background in operations and service contracts. She managed to grow the business from a traditional retail travel agency with an office to eight offices, working with high-profile clients providing high-end luxury services.
  • Nabil Elshafaey – after working for several well-known travel brands such as Barcelo Group, Expedia and BeMyGuest in Singapore, launched Visit & Go, the first online marketplace for Arabic tours and activities and also launched TRYPS, as a B2B distributor of tours and activities. The company has grown very quickly working with more than 360 partners such as Booking, Ctrip, Singapore Airport, Wego, etc.

How have you approached diversity and inclusion within your company?

Our vision in this mandate is to offer equal opportunities to everyone, taking into account their origin, culture, sexual orientation or gender. Our startup is really well balanced – 50% of the workforce are women.

What has been the hardest part of building the business so far?

It’s always difficult to start a new project from scratch with limited funding and manpower. It takes longer to get them both, but what’s actually more difficult is bringing the idea or vision to fruition, translated into problem-solving tools and techniques.

Typically, travel startups struggle to make an impact – so why are you going to be one of the lucky ones?

We see a real need and a gap in the market where StayTick could fit. As a small business, we can scale, learn, and make decisions faster. We also approach our potential customers directly – we don’t rely on online marketing just because customers have become more sensitive to it and unless they really need your service they will ignore your ad. Our goal is to generate the greatest positive impact possible, so that our customers become our ambassadors and recommend us to their network, friends and family. The same thing happened to Discord once he first used it, people started promoting it within their social circles.

In one year, what state do you think your startup will be in?

We expect business volume to continue to grow and subscriber numbers to continue to grow as the world continues to reopen.

What’s your endgame? (Go public, acquisition, grow and stay private, etc.)

We would love to add more services and products, have top talent and crazy creative engineers, open up more markets, and finally, every entrepreneur’s dream is to hit the bell on the Nasdaq, so ours will be no different.

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