MagicStay is looking to tap into the trend of travellers seeking to rent homes and apartments while on leisure and it seems, increasingly, business trips.
Some recent figures from Concur show that between Q3 2014 and Q2 2016, $9.2 million was spent by companies in France, Germany and the UK on Airbnb properties.
There continues to be conflicting information about the extent of the impact of Airbnb on business travel.
More widely, estimates show it will account for almost than a fifth of hospitality bookings within two years.
What problem does your business solve?
Our team worked for many years in the organization of trade shows, and was faced with the problem of accommodation during major international events: very expensive, full hotels, accommodation far from the exhibition grounds etc.
The solution is to propose alternative accommodation, so that business travellers can stay in spacious, comfortable apartments and at a reasonable cost.
The MagicStay booking platform proposes a selected offer of private apartments, studios and villas, in major business cities, that can be booked easily and answer all business travellers’ expectations.
There is also a new behavior in corporate travel with travellers seeking to benefit from the same service as in leisure tourists.
Business travellers wish to book private apartments to enjoy more space and privacy, or to extend their stay during the week-end or with their family.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
Valéry Linyer is co-founder and CEO while William Lecerf is a co-founder. The start-up employs 20 people.
MagicStay carried out a number of funding rounds to a total of €4 million from private investors.
Expenses of service are paid by the tenant (between 10% and 18% exclusive of tax of the rent). Expenses of restitution are paid by the owner (2.5% exclusive of tax of the rent).
We also propose paying options such as travel insurance, cancellation options, and take a commission on e-concierge services.
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
Compared to other short term rental platforms, our clients do not lose time looking for suitable accommodation and checking if security or payment issues are addressed.
Accommodation with MagicSta is on average 50% cheaper than a hotel.
We have created an advisory board with the participation of Charles Petruccelli, the former worldwide president of the travel division at American Express.
We have signed a partnership with major international exhibition organisers and we are in contact with big companies and travel agencies.
A specialist site offering private accommodation for the corporate market is a good thing if it can truly offer properties in the right locations which are easy to book and pay for.
But, Airbnb has been making strides in the past couple of years to ensure it's listings highlight properties suitable for business travel with easy payment and ability to integrate into the booking flow.
You also wonder, what it is that business travellers want in addition to the above. Good wifi? Doesn't everyone want that? And, the same applies to location, price and bookability.
Maybe a service such as MagicStay can find a niche in the accommodation for big events business. One of the nice features on the site is a criteria to search by event.
It's Trustay guarantee around security as well as other services such as the e-concierge and solutions for travel managers, will help it build business.
It might also gain traction through smaller partnerships with travel management companies and corporates if the thought of working with the giant that Airbnb has become seems scary.
There's clearly demand for alternative accommodation as supported by the numbers above.
It's also hard to imagine that those in their late teens, or just entering the workforce, who have grown up with services such as couchsurfing and Airbnb, won't continue looking for that in their working lives.