washbnb | May 21, 2021
Washbnb, a tech-enabled linen solution for the short-term rental and hotel industries, has launched a crowdfunding campaign via Wefunder. The startup eliminates the laundry problem for property managers and Airbnb hosts whilst solving a key operational pain point for the reliable supply of hotel-quality bed and linen.
Washbnb is democratizing the investment process as a part of its community-driven strategy to grow the business for all stakeholders involved. By launching its seed round via crowdfunding with Wefunder, everyone has the chance to take a position during a startup company during a booming hospitality sector before travel’s predicted comeback, not just wealthy accredited investors. The short-term rental sector has remained resilient during the pandemic and bookings are now at an all-time high consistent with AirDNA going into a summer of revenge travel.
Washbnb is about to become an important tool for hosts and managers by eliminating common laundry challenges through automated linen procurement and management. As a tech-enabled solution, the corporate controls linen logistics and quality through data insights while exploring the newest in water and logistics tech to make sure an environmentally sustainable and efficient service. The result's an improved guest experience that reduces travel’s footprint while making businesses easier to work and grow.
Daniel Cruz, co-founder, and CEO of washbnb started the corporate in 2020 after handling the gap within the marketplace for an automatic linen solution as an Airbnb host himself battling laundry. Milwaukee-based, washbnb is rooted during a resurgent Midwest city featuring a fast-growing water-tech industry and fertile ground for both hospitality companies and laundry machine manufacturers.
Washbnb pivoted during the pandemic with washhero.org and aims to create a community-driven, sustainable company with zebra stripes. Daniel says: “Our customers drive what we do, and that they love washbnb. We take their biggest challenge off of their plates and that we roll in the hay in higher quality, safer, and far more sustainable way. Hosting may be a great business, just check out Airbnb’s recent IPO, and we’re here to support these great businesses on the bottom, where they have it most. It’s a completely new category of business that must be created. Our customers see that and need to take a position because they need to assist. That’s how we build community.”
Investment at this stage will fuel talent acquisition, research, and development also as future expansion into fast-growing, short-term rental destinations.
CLEAR | June 09, 2021
Biometrics are poised to make the leap beyond airports and act as a passport to any number of environments where crowds gather in post-COVID reopening.
To that end, biometric security firm CLEAR filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paving the way for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange.
CLEAR may arguably be best known for its origin that ties into creating “a frictionless travel experience while enhancing homeland security,” as described in the prospectus. At a high level, the company’s biometric security service offers subscriptions to its services, speeding up passenger flow through TSA lines at the airport.
But branching into other use cases shows how fungible, in a way, biometrics tech can be, where knowing who is who — for admission, for security, or commerce — is an essential deployment. But along the way, as CLEAR’s filing shows, the pivot beyond travel — where demand is only now recovering from the ravages of the pandemic — will help determine whether the firm will see ignition. CLEAR points to the “convenience economy” as a critical driver for using biometrics in a bid to streamline everyday interactions.
Tracking The Enrollments
Digging into the prospectus, since inception, there have been 5.6 million cumulative enrollments, with 61 million cumulative use cases across its platform.
Along with the decline in travel-related activity, first-quarter revenues slipped 17 percent as U.S. domestic flyers dropped by 60 percent. But the company remarked in its prospectus that a trend in its favor would be the reopening of and return to secular growth in the travel industry.
As travel declined, cumulative enrollments on the platform were up more than 12 percent, to 5.2 million. Looking across the entire year, revenue was up 20 percent to 230.8 million in 2020, while net loss narrowed to $9.3 million from $54.2 million.
Moreover, the company has debuted its Health Pass app, which stores healthcare-related data such as COVID test and vaccine records, which can help members show credentials required to enter a sporting event. CLEAR has partnered with 26 sports and entertainment partners and 67 Health Pass-enabled partners. That reach helps give coverage to 110 locations, including offices, theaters, and theme parks.
Launched in 2010, CLEAR’s biometric security service is popular among frequent fliers who purchase subscriptions for $179 a year. Along with gaining the ability to speed through airport lines, subscribers can also use the service at sports stadiums and entertainment venues.
Looking Toward Scale
CLEAR defines the total addressable markets, by vertical, as being rather significant. In aviation and travel, 90 million American adults fly at least twice annually, while 31 million flies at least six times annually. In hospitality, there were 1.3 billion room nights occupied in 2019, pre-pandemic, in the U.S. Per data from ESPN, across major sports leagues, there were 130 million sports attendees in 2019.
The movement into adjacent use cases depends on how many consumers embrace $179 annual subscriptions (the price of Clear PLUS) and whether the populations that do so will justify partners signing on with the technology platform.
Expedia Group | January 24, 2022
Expedia Group released a new report, the Traveler Value Index: 2022 Outlook, based on a new study conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research among 5,500 adults across eight countries, combined with Expedia Brands proprietary data. The findings suggest that after two years of enduring a global pandemic, people value travel and personal time more than ever. Simultaneously, travelers have started to adapt to the realities of COVID-19, ranking flex travel at the top of their priorities and focusing intently on traveling for good, including taking steps such as tipping industry workers more and choosing less crowded destinations to limit effects of overtourism. The report underscores the resilience of the industry, and reveals how travel companies can adapt to achieve a competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving environment.
“Travel is about to experience a year unlike ever before as people plan purpose-driven trips, value vacation time more, and up their investment in unique experiences,Still travelers are preparing themselves for possible trip changes as COVID-19 persists, and they want an array of options at their fingertips. Travel companies that prioritize safety and wellbeing, innovative solutions, and transparent communication will be the clear leaders as the entire industry shifts from survival mode into accelerated demand and growth.”
-Ariane Gorin, President, Expedia for Business
There will be a surge in travel for personal wellness.
The pandemic caused people to reflect on the importance of spending time with family and preserving their own personal wellbeing. Most people (81%) plan to take at least one vacation with family and friends in the next six months, and the majority are seeking quick doses of adventure, with more than three quarters (78%) expressing an interest in frequent short trips.
Similarly, the Expedia® 2022 Travel Trends Report found that nearly two in five (36%) U.S. travelers are searching for a sense of contentment and mental wellbeing on their next trip.
The new world of work will alter traveler priorities.
As companies prepare to return to the office and evolve remote work policies, employees are looking to make greater use of their vacation time, and in some cases, combine work and play. More than half (56%) of those who often work remotely will take a “bleisure” style trip — extending a work trip for leisure, or vice versa.
The 2022 Vrbo® Trend Report also found that, compared to pre-COVID, 84% of U.S. families have a greater appreciation for vacation time and 77% have a greater appreciation for separating professional and personal life.
Investment in travel will boom compared to pre-pandemic.
More than half (54%) of respondents say they plan to spend more on trips than they did prior to the pandemic.
Two in 5 (40%) plan to use loyalty points for at least part of a trip in 2022, with Gen Z in the lead.
People will travel more responsibly and consciously, with an increased focus on sustainability.
Over half of people (59%) are willing to pay more fees to make a trip sustainable, and 49% would choose a less crowded destination to reduce effects of overtourism.
Nearly half (43%) will add in extra time for services and transit, helping to minimize long lines, stress on workers, and missed flights.
Travelers will be on the hunt for great deals and flexibility.
As we saw in What Travelers Want and Traveler Value Index in 2021, the ability to book travel for a reasonable price and make changes to trip itineraries is an absolute must in the eyes of travelers. Almost all (84%) respondents agree that a discounted fee is influential when booking a flight online.
A nearly identical percentage (83%) say flexible fare options make a world of difference.
The full report can be downloaded here, containing more data from the study and actionable steps for travel companies based on the findings to help to grow traveler loyalty, trust, and business in 2022.
About Expedia Group
Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of four pillars: Expedia Services, focused on the group’s platform and technical strategy; Expedia Marketplace, centered on product and technology offerings across the organization; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.