Padlifter is a marketplace to connect vacation rental hosts
with providers of services such as property management, security, marketing,
maintenance, laundry, accounting and more.
The site also offers discounts on property services, a discussion forum for hosts and
education on how to make money on Airbnb.
Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
Padlifter is the world's largest marketplace of short‐term
and vacation rental service providers. Padlifter helps short-term
rental/vacation rental (STR/VR) hosts and property managers find products and
services, both locally and globally, that simplify their life, enhance their
guests' experience and make them more money.
Hosts and property managers come to the Padlifter
marketplace as their “one-stop shop” for running a successful STR/VR operation.
In addition to being the world’s largest marketplace of STR/VR service
providers, Padlifter also provides:
- Hosting tips and resources
- Special offers and discounts
- An accredited best‐practice course for hosts and property
- A discussion forum for the global community of hosts and
property managers to hear from and help one another
- Promotional opportunities for hosts to showcase and
publicize their listings
What inspired you to create this company?
The vacation rental industry currently represents a colossal
opportunity. It is estimated to achieve a global market value of $194 billion
by 2021. Many enterprising businesses have recognized this opportunity, which
has spawned an entire vacation rental industry “ecosystem.”
There are currently
an estimated 115,000 vacation rental companies worldwide. Despite this opportunity, the industry nonetheless remains
relatively "infantile.” It is highly fragmented and ever‐evolving,
creating challenges for STR/VR companies, hosts and guests.
Over time, however, the industry has been maturing. It is
shifting towards greater consolidation and professionalization:
- Companies are increasingly adopting partnerships and
- Hosts increasingly provide a consistently professional guest
experience that rivals "traditional" hotel lodging options
- Guests have increasing certainty around standards and
We created Padlifter so that the industry’s key stakeholders
are able to benefit from this shift towards greater consolidation and
professionalization. Our ultimate goal is to elevate Padlifter into the homepage
for the STR/VR industry.
Give us your SWOT analysis of the company.
- Strengths: Padlifter represents an unprecedented attempt to
wrap consolidation across the entire and highly fragmented STR/VR industry.
Padlifter already has close to 1,000 companies sitting across 30 industry
sub‐sectors listed on the site. This number is forecast to triple by 2020.
- Weaknesses: Padlifter’s growth requires overcoming the same
hurdles of any marketplace startup – the chicken‐and‐egg challenge of needing service providers to list their business as an attraction to hosts and
property managers, while simultaneously requiring hosts and property managers to continually use the site to demonstrate value and relevance to
listed service providers, as an incentive for listing.
- Opportunities: The vacation rental industry is estimated to
achieve a global market value of $194 billion by 2021. Despite the opportunity,
the industry is still in relative infancy, remains highly fragmented and lacks
meaningful consolidation. Padlifter addresses each of these.
- Threats: The ever‐evolving state of play for the STR/VR
industry means the goalposts are always moving. This adds a layer of complexity
in defining the “target user” (e.g., property owner, short‐term rental host,
property manager, etc.).
What are the travel pain points you are trying to alleviate
from both the customer and the industry perspective?
Padlifter helps STR/VR -
- Companies connect with their target audience (STR/VR hosts
and property managers) to sell their products and services.
- Hosts simplify their lives, provide better guest experiences
and make more money with their properties.
- Guests gain improved travel experiences as a derivative of
their hosts’ access to a greater suite of optimum STR/VR products and services.
- Industry by providing consolidation, verification and reliability.
So you've got the product, now how will you get lots of
As a marketplace startup, Padlifter is in the fortunate
position of being able to leverage collaborative partnership marketing
initiatives with the large number of service providers listed on Padlifter.
This provides scaled opportunities to amplify our marketing reach beyond
internal marketing channels that we would otherwise be limited to.
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This arrangement is mutually beneficial in that Padlifter’s
success represents our partners’ success too (and vice versa). Every positive
mention of Padlifter is a proxy endorsement of the businesses listed on
Padlifter. And every positive mention of an individual service provider is a
proxy endorsement of Padlifter.
Padlifter works endlessly on collaborative marketing
arrangements that shine a spotlight on Padlifter/service provider
partnerships in place. We are very active across all major social media and
email channels with more than 33,500 fans and followers on Facebook, Instagram
STR/VR hosts and property managers are always on a perpetual
quest to find resources that simplify their lives, provide better guest
experiences and make them more money. We’ve found that favorable awareness of
our brand and offering has grown exponentially since going public. As a free
service that’s been well‐received, there are many mentions and shares across
various media and marketing platforms that have resulted in an organic uptake
of users that complement our proactive growth strategies.
Tell us what process you've gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.
We have run a “top‐down” meets “bottom‐up” process to
validate the opportunity and concept.
From a top‐down perspective, we continually speak with
businesses operating within the STR/VR space to understand their goals,
frustrations, successes and failures. We have built the product around
providing a solution that capitalizes on their greatest opportunities and
mitigates their greatest challenges.
From a bottom‐up perspective, we have modeled the
convertible market opportunity around key data points that evidence an industry
ripe for disruption and an opportunity keen to be prosecuted:
- Global revenue for the industry is expected to be driven by
an annual growth rate of 6.4% between now and 2023. Between 2011 and 2016 growth
- The number of homeowners with a vacation home that planned
to put it on the short‐term rental market within the next two years has more
than doubled over the last year.
- The number of vacation rental users worldwide was 64 million
in 2015. It is currently more than 100 million. By 2023, it is expected to rise
to 361 million.
How and when will you make money?
Padlifter’s principle focus for the next 18 months is to
increase its user base while continually demonstrating value and relevance to
all of those who use it. Key to that strategy is enabling all users the
opportunity to “taste test” the value‐rich offering without feeling constrained
or inhibited by costs or fees.
Over the course of that same period, strategic partnership
arrangements are being entered into, that recognize and reward Padlifter for
having become a primary source of new business and a supplementary lead generation
channel for businesses that benefit from the service.
What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
founding team, and why do you have what it takes to succeed with this business?
Padlifter is currently comprised of a small team of five. The
team is led by its founder and CEO, Evian Gutman. Gutman has worked in sales
and digital marketing, is an Airbnb Superhost and is the author of a guidebook
for Airbnb hosts.
What's been the most difficult part of founding the business
People have a natural skepticism to something that seems too
good to be true (and they’re usually right!). They find it hard to believe that
there’s a free service, that connects them with their target customers and is
100% complimentary to their existing suite of marketing activities.
Our job is to prove that not everything too good to be true
actually is and to continue demonstrating relevance, utility and value to each
and every user that interacts with Padlifter.
Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time making
an impact ‐ so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?
Most startups are founded from a “point solution”
perspective to the product they make, the service they provide or the benefit
they’re trying to realize. These often represent standalone and siloed
solutions that only recognize a niche aspect of the problem to be solved.
Padlifter is unique in that we sit at the “industry level.” We
are not solely reliant on one customer’s pain point, or one business’ solution,
or one sub‐sector of the industry. We cut across all STR/VR industry
stakeholders and possess the ability to provide upside to all.
In this way, we are uniquely safeguarded from individual
threats, and are welcomed by a broad range of interested participants and
players within the STR/VR space for helping them realize the opportunity that’s
specific to them.
What question might we have missed...?
Padlifter offer hosts and service providers a range of
features that serve as valuable drawing cards for visiting and returning to the
For service providers:
- Statistics and insights on listing
page visits and enquiries sent
- On‐page contact form going direct to service provider
- Ability to be listed as a “Featured Listing” with priority placement in search
- Immersive multimedia listing experience with image and video
- On‐page Trustpilot ratings and reviews of service provider
from previous customers
- Ability to search for service providers by
location and/or category
- Functionality to share listings with others and on social
- Free hosting tips and resources across the end‐to‐end hosting process
- Special offers and discounts from service providers listed on the site
- A discussion forum for the community of VR hosts to hear from and help one another
PhocusWire Startup Stage
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