COSI, a new Berlin-based startup that has yet to launch, is reimagining the hospitality sector, planning to offer travellers an experience that combines the luxuries of boutique hotels with the homelike feel of an AirBnB.
According to the startup, many travellers are fed up with the AirBnB model because of the lack of consistency in quality and guest services, yet at the same time like to stay in a place with character, and the comfort of staying in a home rather than a hotel.
COSI aims to combine the best of both worlds as a “full stack” hospitality operator, by renting flats directly from landlords and controlling the letting and guest experience – from interior design to guest support. The startup plans to provide end-to-end digital services throughout the entire guest journey, from initial contact to loyalty.
Without even having launched, COSI has just raised a €5 million seed round led by Cherry Ventures, along with e.ventures and several angel investors.
The startup has been busy assembling a strong management team of real estate, hospitality and technology experts.
“The hospitality industry faces the same tech challenges as banks, insurances or retailers – mainly outdated tech stacks,” said co-founder Gerhard Maringer. “Traditional hosts focus only on checkin/checkout. Cosi creates an end-to-end digital experience throughout the entire guest journey from initial contact to loyalty.”
“The hospitality market is changing rapidly,” said Christian Meermann, founding partner at Cherry. “Guests have become more demanding and prefer boutique hotels with character or home sharing with an individual touch. Based on our proptech focus, we clearly see the need to professionalize the supply side in home sharing and alternative accommodation – always in cooperation with authorities. The COSI model provides tremendous potential and we are excited to back such a strong team of entrepreneurs.”
“COSI’s business model is very attractive, as COSI controls the entire value chain based on its branded approach,” said Christian Miele, partner at e.ventures. “COSI’s strong emphasis on technology paves the way to redesign the existing hospitality process landscape, creating a significant economic advantage compared to traditional hosts. We have known the very experienced team behind COSI for over 10 years, and are pleased to back this ambitious mission again.”