Helsinki-based Bob W acquires Estonian competitor Estonishing Stay to expand its tech-driven holiday rental platform

In a move that consolidates its position as a market leader in the smart tech-driven approach to hospitality, Bob W has just acquired its biggest Estonian competitor – Estonishing Stay. The move means Bob W has tripled its coverage in Estonia and it comes about a year after the team’s €10 million raise. 

Bob W CEO and Co-founder Niko Karstikko said: “We’re really lucky to have Estonishing Stay join the Bob W family. We’ve got an amazing pool of talent and properties between us, and we’ll be leveraging Bob W’s technology, resources, and capabilities to improve the performance of these assets.”

Founded in 2018 in Helsinki, Bob W offers ‘exceptionally cool’ short-stay accommodation that is specifically tailored to the 21st-century traveller. The startup blends the quality of a hotel with the authenticity and affordability of a short stay rental with a focus on sustainable approaches. Via Bob W, travellers can stay in sustainably-operated properties in interesting, local, neighbourhoods across Europe. Currently, the service is available in Estonia, Finland, Spain, and the UK with publicised expansion to Germany and the Netherlands. 

The hospitality and travel sectors have had a challenging couple of years with the pandemic, and despite being launched just before the global lockdown, Bob W has been growing fast as a rising star in this space. Bob W reports 18x year on year growth and a growing number of happy customers. 

Thanks to technology and careful attention to detail, Bob W gives guests a seamless five-star experience without meeting them face-to-face: something that has appealed to travellers during the pandemic. The company’s full-stack tech platform – including their app, chat-based customer service, contactless online check-in, and autonomous operations – not only minimises human error but also allows the company to craft the entire guest experience, from booking to check-out, at scale.

To date, the young hospitality disruptor has more than 1200  signed apartments in its pipeline representing an excess of €37 million in annual revenue potential, across 28 properties in 15 cities across Europe. 

So, this acquisition certainly cements the company’s position as a star in the making! 

Since the team’s €10 million raise last year, Bob W has been vocal and active in pursuing growth across Europe – looking to establish links with real estate partners and investors. Estonishing Stay marks Bob W’s first acquisition and the beginning of a ramp-up in their M&A efforts in the Baltics and beyond.

Estonishing Stay, founded in 2019 by real estate and hospitality experts Gerdi Arst and Evelin Org, is Estonia’s biggest short-stay serviced apartment operator. Similarly to Bob W, the company was able to thrive during the pandemic – almost growing a reported 600%! 

The two companies certainly have a lot to bring to each other and this acquisition marks an exciting step for Bob W, as well as for the travel industry as a whole. Tech has been creeping into the travel and hospitality industry over the past couple of years, indeed it seems like the pandemic has been a catalyst to digitize and tech-ify this sector and so this acquisition is big news for the entire space. Travel and hospitality is being shaken up and we’re excited to see what’s to come!

Gerdi Arst, Co-founder at Estonishing Stay commented: “We’re pleased to join forces with Bob W since we share the vision for a new category of hospitality. We’re looking forward to working together to expand our real estate network regionally with new real estate investors. Team Estonishing is a strong believer in smart digital services combined with superb virtual customer service. With our new joint team, we can provide better solutions both for our investors, and also customers.”