In the midst of trying times for the hospitality industry, Helsinki-based startup Bob W has announced a €4 million seed round led by byFounders, with participation from leading Nordic and Baltic real estate investors NREP and Kaamos, among others.
Bob W, founded in 2018, is an alternative to hotels and hosted homes. Its high-quality suites feature the livability and affordability of short-stay homes, and are embedded in the local community, letting travellers experience the real culture of a place. Bob W’s homes are tech-driven (100% digital), sustainable, touchless and Ridiculously Clean.
The Ridiculously Clean Standard is a meticulous 63-step programme designed to clean, sanitize, disinfect, and, finally, seal every suite. Exceeding industry standards, the programme features highlights such as the use of specialized equipment including electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and management inspection of every suite prior to it’s sealing.
However, Bob’s vision is not merely to provide a safer, reinvented travel experience. Rather, it is to craft a future where tech, hospitality, and real estate come together to maximize efficiency and create value. Beyond plans to expand beyond 1,000 units across the Nordics, Baltics, and the UK over the next 24 months, Bob W is developing a full-stack hospitality tech platform which will serve as the foundation for a more asset-light growth strategy going forward.
Niko Karstikko, co-founder and CEO, explained: “Thanks to our unique combination of touchless hospitality features including online check-ins, 24/7 keyless entry and chat-based customer service, zero required face-to-face interaction, absence of shared spaces such as front desks, and the recently launched ‘Ridiculously Clean Standard’, Bob W is the smartest, safest, and cleanest hospitality choice in the new normal.”
Additional investors in the round include the Baltic VCs Superangel and United Angels as well as prominent angel investors from Germany and the Nordics.
Tommy Andersen, co-founder and Managing Partner of byFounders, said: “Since the first meeting, we’ve been impressed with Bob W’s team and what they have accomplished with limited resources. Considering the current situation, hitting the hospitality industry harder than most, our esteem has not waned. While being lean and nimble has been a clear advantage, their super scalable, tech-enabled model lends itself well to market fluctuations. We believe the founders’ strong complementing profiles and experience make them perfectly positioned to target the intersection between tech, hospitality, and real estate. We look forward to supporting the team on their journey onwards.”