Spanish startup bob.io, a tech-enabled service that allows passengers to check-in bags from home and travel to and through the airport without their luggage, has annouced securing a €3 million funding round. The startup will use funding to expand internationally and continue developing new services to satisfy passengers’ needs, including the door-to-door service.
bob.io secured the round from current Spanish investors, K Fund, Big Sur Ventures and business angels Andreas Mihalovits and Carlos Domingo, as well as international investors GAA Investments (EEUU) and TA Ventures (Ukraine).
The volume of air passengers will almost double in the next ten years, from 4.4 billion in 2018 to 8 billion in 2035, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). bob.io, whose origin was dealing with the frustration of traveling with baggage, was born to tackle the biggest problem that airports will face, becoming bottlenecks.
The solution requires a new paradigm: to transform the air travel experience putting the customer at the center, not necessarily building more airports or larger terminals as the industry is suggesting.
“If we think of airports as shopping malls, we see how cashiers have similar problems to check-in counters; very often, they represent a bottleneck and worsen the customer’s experience. In this case, the infrastructure manager opts for installing self-service systems or implementing new queuing processes. Meanwhile, tech giants like Amazon have already proved the value of this customer-centric approach. Convenience and comfort from online shopping and home delivery are very appealing solutions for customers that nowadays value their time more than ever”, added Felix Campano, CEO at bob.io.
“More passengers arriving at the airport without luggage means fewer check-in counters, less self-service bag-drop systems, and no queues. Security and traveler experience exponentially improve, and airport real estate is put to better use”, explains Felix Campano.
9.8 out of 10 passengers that have used bob.io claim that they will use the service again on their next trip. For a price of 15€ for the first bag and 5€ for each additional bag, once the traveller has completed their online check-in and up to four hours before flight departure time, bob.io picks up passengers’ luggage from any point in the city, transports it to the airport and checks it in in the name of the passenger. The passenger collects their bags at the baggage belt at their destination airport.
Founded in late 2017, and after a very successful proof of concept developed with the airline Iberia in 2018, bob.io can now target 70% of the total air passengers in Madrid and Barcelona hubs (the two main Spanish hubs) through signed commercial agreements with leading international airlines. bob.io has also partnered with online travel agencies, hotels, and rental apartment hosts to offer its service to a more extensive customer base. The service can also be booked directly on the company’s website.
“We are working on exciting plans with airlines and airport operators that will translate into an even better customer experience for passengers and generate a huge impact in the future of aviation. Our next natural move is the door-to-door service, taking baggage from the baggage belt at the destination airport and delivering it to the customer’s final destination. There is a strong interest in this service, 80 % of our current customers have already requested this service”, says Felix Campano, CEO of bob.io.