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Bob W to enter into new growth phase with EUR 40 million in funding

Bob W’s founders promise to deliver visitors a smooth digital stay experience that brings together the consistent quality of hotels and authenticity of real homes.

Bob W

Bob W, a Finnish tech-enabled hospitality operator, has announced the closing of a 40-million-euro equity round.

Led by Evli Growth Partners, with participation from a number of equity capital funds and prominent investors, the funding round enables the startup to continue its expansion across Europe. Niko Karstikko, CEO of Bob W, described the round as proof that top-performing startups can continue to attract funding despite the challenging financing environment.

The startup markets itself as a smarter and more sustainable alternative to hotels and short-term rentals – one that offers guests the best of both worlds: the consistency and quality of a lifestyle hotel and the authenticity and amenities of a real home.

Its proprietary apps and technology provide, for example, a “seamless” digital front-desk experience supported by digital customer service and instant availability-based responses to requests for early check-ins or late check-outs. Guests can also use the digital offering to discover local breakfast spots, gyms and other services.

Karstikko noted that in spite of surging demand for locally rooted seamless travel experiences enabled by technology, the short-term rental sector has lacked standards and professional operators.

“At Bob W, we are leading this category. Our growth and market-leading customer satisfaction prove that we are heading in the right direction. With support from our investors, we’re eager and well prepared to enter into a new phase of our company’s growth and expand the Bob W travel experience across Europe,” he said.

Reveel turns paper maps and physical info displays into interactive, digital guidebooks.

Reveel / Screenshot

Following the opening of 20 new properties in 11 cities in 2023, Bob W presently operates design-led and sustainability focused full-service apartment-hotels in 17 cities in 10 countries across Europe.

“Commitment to sustainability is at the core of our mission. We consider measuring and reducing our carbon footprint […] a fundamental aspect of our business, and the principles penetrate our procurement practices, operations and how we work with property owners,” commented Karstikko.

“We believe in transparency with our guests and peers. By openly sharing our data, we help our guests make more informed decisions, particularly with our emission-per-guest-night […] metric.”

Also another Finnish hospitality startup has caught the attention of investors of late.

Reveel in February reported that it has secured 650 000 euros from venture capitalists and angel investors to deliver its smart-tourism solution to a growing number of destinations. The solution enables attractions and destinations, be it a city, church, museum or national park, to abandon paper maps, disposable headphones and information displays in favour of interactive digital guidebooks that visitors can access with smartphones.

By: Aleksi Teivainen