The hotel and hospitality industry are slowly coming back after the pandemic hit all over the world and locked down most of the cities. iWeekender, a travel startup which helps the hospitality industry to recover, has raised more than $230,000 in investments from GetJet, a business aviation marketplace, and Speakezee DAO, a web3 audio content platform. It plans to use the funding to continue expanding its service in the US.
The team is currently working on building an automated event analytics platform for 1M hotels, sales and marketing that provides data for effective price management and allows them to increase revenue up to 10% per year. The tool will provide insights on popular events in the area, so the companies can use this information to change their rates per night accordingly, attract more visitors, and get extra revenue.
iWeekender is an interactive and personalized service that helps hotel guests to discover and book city tours, activities and events around. The platform gives the latest entertainment updates through scanning QR-code, making it easier for hotel managers to provide hospitality and give hotel guests a convenient and fast way of planning their free time in the city. iWeekender already partners with more than three hundred hotels in New York city, Miami, London, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and other cities worldwide. It was recently included in the Top 101 New York Startups as well as was awarded first place in Top Travel Startups category and the startup is a proud member of Hotel Association of New York City.
“We are relying on the local tourism segment, which has increased significantly during the pandemic and continues to grow. In 2022, we plan to partner with 10,000 hotels, as well as launch a mobile application and provide business analytics for each hotel we partner with. We want to be like Airbnb Experience but for hotels and with iWeekender hotels can provide a new hospitality level for their guests. We already have profits despite the pandemic and 50% reply rate,” says founder and CEO Igor Alekhin.
“E-commerce is rapidly becoming a part of the Travel Activities market which is currently estimated at $183 billion dollars. Igor Alekhin was able to see and predict a product market fit in this growing niche. iWeekender helps hotel guests reduce their time for searching things to do around, build hotel guest loyalty and generate additional revenue for hotels because of commission iWeekender shares, ” says Alexander Koninsky, founder of GetJet, a business aviation marketplace.
iWeekender was founded in 2017 and at the beginning it partnered with large events, like the San Francisco marathon, making it easier for participants to find and book hotels, flights and activities during the event. The startup had a pivot after the pandemic hit and switched from events to hotels. iWeekender QR codes can already be found in the biggest hotel chains in the world, like Hilton hotels in New York. The service is free for the hotels as it shares its commission with partners from each booking through ticket suppliers like Ticketmaster, Viator, Tripster, GetYourGuide, etc. The most popular bookings in New York now are helicopter and bus tours, observation decks like Empire State Building and tickets to New York’s comedy stand ups. Around 19 thousand people have used the service since 2021 and on average a hotel guest spends around 150$ per booking. iWeekender is based in New York city and Moscow.
Igor Alekhin is a serial entrepreneur and a father of three children. Currently he is a founder of the iWeekender and alumni of Product School San Francisco. Co-founder of Unicorex consulting agency, former co-founder of Charterscanner (Dubai), host of hackathons, mentor in many international startups. Also holds an MBA from the Higher School of Economics. In free time he enjoys snowboarding, cycling tours and traveling. Finished three international marathons.