15 May 2018

Startup pitch: Stay22 offers map-based accommodation booking for events

Stay22 is an accommodation solution for event organisers and platforms. The startup enables companies to create map-based accommodation listings for their events with commute times to the event location and other local information.

The Montreal-based startup took part in Travelport Labs accelerator program last year and has also recently announced its latest funding – a seed round of $750,000.

Here’s a clip:

What problem does your business solve?

Stay22 is an embeddable accommodation map solution for organizations and platforms in the events, entertainment and transportation industries to help attendees and travelers find their perfect place at the perfect price.

Event planners traditionally deal with hotels to provide their traveling attendees with low-cost accommodation, but what the attendees don’t know is that those room blocks are negotiated with long lead times and possible financial risks.

Which is why Stay22 wants to help event planners steer clear of room blocks and let them focus on putting a great event. Also, platforms can provide a great value to their customers and benefit financially from each booking through the accommodation solution.

Typically the event attendees spend countless hours on many OTAs websites searching for the right deal to where they’re traveling, comparing prices and type of listings (hotel vs Airbnb, and many others). And once they find the best deal, it turns out to be miles away from the venue. This is frustrating!

Enter Stay22; we aggregate all types of listings in one interactive map, displaying the lowest prices at the time of booking, and suggest the type of commute and its length.

Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?

Andrew Lockhead – chief executive officer.

Hamed Al Khabaz – chief technology officer.

10 full-time team members.

Funding arrangements?

$35,000 Travelport

CAD $750,000 – 7 Gates Venture, Real Ventures (Founder Fuel), and couple of angel investors

Revenue model?

While we provide the solution at no cost, our revenue model is purely based on the commissions we earn from each booking made through the map. This model excludes bookings made through manually added hotel partners, i.e. redirecting to the hotel’s website.

Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?

Location is a top priority for event-goers, who hope to book an accommodation within walking distance from the venue. Price of lodging is an important concern for event-goers, especially after already spending their money on the event ticket. With our innovative solution, consumers save time and money. By embedding our accommodation solution on the event website, we enhance attendees’ booking process by reducing friction during the transaction, delivering an effective accommodation solution precisely when they need it.

Organizers spend time and energy chasing hotel deals and negotiating room blocks when they should be focusing on their events. With our solution, event organizers earn revenue for each booking made through the map, thereby creating a new revenue stream.

By partnering with Stay22, event organizers improve their out-of-town attendees’ experience. Where they used to leave money on the table by referring attendees to hotels or OTAs, they can now earn revenue from each attendee booking.

Stay22 is designed with the event-goer’s experience in mind. We’ve implemented specific features that no other interactive map solution offers, such as venue itineraries, a heatmap to identify neighborhoods, and information on other attendees whereabouts.

External validation?

  • Incubators/accelerators: Travelport Labs , FounderFuel, MT Lab.
  • Mentors: Valentin Dombrovsky and Jacques Racine
  • More than $2.2M of bookings made by more than 6,500 travelers through the map.
  • 600+ partners in more than 20 countries
  • Pearl Jam partnership, the band, one of the most famous rock & roll bands
  • Evenko, largest event producer and promoter in Canada
  • Weezevent, major ticketing platform in France
  • Airbnb collaboration

Tnooz view:

The events business is attractive from all angles right now. The industry is taking the best technology has to offer to improve the experience for event organisers and attendees alike.

What seems cool about Stay22 is its simplicity. A few lines of embeddable code and organisers and event platforms can offer a map-based accommodation service which is relevant to the event.

This sort of service should make for big time savings – sorting accommodation for an event can be really painful.

It also means an added revenue stream for organisers, wider choice for event-goers and audiences and an improved experience overall.

Using maps makes it user-friendly and the addition of extra functionality such as heatmaps to highlight particular bars and restaurants, commute time to event and other information, also enhances the experience.

Maps can be customised to highlight event hotels where rooms have been block booked as well as local points of interest.

The startup aggregates hotels as well as accommodation from other platforms including Airbnb to provide users with a wide choice of places and prices.

It’s good to see Stay22 already gaining traction through both partnerships and in real bookings.

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