BYHOURS, 7 years going strong.
Did you know most startups don’t survive the first 2 years? We are happy just to still be around!
Jokes aside, what have we actually done in 7 years? Well, quite a lot. It’s been 7 very eventful years of innovating and disrupting the hotel, travel, and tourism industry.
Let’s take you through the 7 years from the start, to where we are now.
Let’s go back to when it all began.
How did BYHOURS, and the idea of making hotel rooms by the hour mainstream, come about? Imagine a cold winter night in 2012, a dark, lonely airport late at night. Two impatient businessmen waiting for a flight that kept getting delayed and delayed. Rain pouring down the windows of the airport. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, but wait.
This is how the microstays idea came up, rather unexpectedly, on a flight to New York. The idle hours at the airport, reading magazines & drinking coffee, feeling stuck and tired, made founder Christian ask Guillermo a simple but life changing question: “But why is the minimum stay in a hotel 24 hours?”
This was the trigger that put Christian Rodriguez and Guillermo Gaspart into action, and together they proceeded to found BYHOURS, the first (and at the moment only) microstay platform for hotels.
Since then, 3 key things have been achieved in the past 3 years:
The hardest part of succeeding as a startup has been changing the mentality of people. The ´hotel room by hours´, or how we like to call it: ¨microstays¨, concept has been so closely linked to the idea of intimacy throughout time that it’s hard for people to step away from it and see the hotel room, and the hotel itself, as a place for endless opportunities:
- A place to get ready before a wedding for a few hours.
- A place to work for a few hours in between meetings.
- A place to stop, rest and charge your phone on a road trip…
How have we been able to change minds? A lot of educating has been done, through marketing, online and offline, such as TV campaigns, and more. Not only to change guests´mentalities but also hoteliers.
We are now widely considered a travel app, rather than a couple´s app. Especially for travelers who are in search of a place to crash but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a hotel room for a full day,
But are the masses bold enough to use BYHOURS? We still believe there is a certain fear people have of checking into a hotel only for a few hours.
Nowadays even though a little giggle might still come out when people think of a hotel by the hour we have been able to tap into the mainstream travel and tourism sector and had a very warm welcoming. We can safely say the world takes us seriously and has started to see BYHOURS as a tool that can be useful in plenty of situations, apart from the first one that comes to mind.
BYHOURS has always been driven by the goal to give the hotel guest flexibility and fair price as well as always keeping the hotel’s interests in mind. To achieve that win-win ideal situation we realized the need to develop new technology, and this focus on technology quickly became the core of BYHOURS.
The technology created for the guests and the hotels is based on the BYHOURS philosophy of ¨every hour counts¨ and thus it is designed for a user who needs something as fast as possible and with total flexibility, therefore bookings, payments and cancellations are carried out in just a few clicks. It is designed completely with the user in mind.
The BYHOURS app was a massive milestone, it was launched in October 2017 and it really changed everything. The use of geolocalization, virtual reality, easy payments and personalized content in a fresh design layout, appealing to the eye to give the best user experience. The user can smoothly navigate through the hotels and book a hotel in minutes, comparing prices, locations, filters and options easily and fastly.
Furthermore, the BYHOURS app currently counts with approximately 30.000 monthly active users and with numbers still growing steadily. Nowadays it has been rated 4.5 stars on the app store and 4 stars on Google Play.
Moreover, lately we have been doing research into other non-hotel related technologies, but which also relate to pay-per-use for space. By teaming up with Napbox we have worked on phone booths and meeting spaces, below you can see the first prototype of the NAPBOX x BYHOURS meeting room in Barcelona Tech City, one of the boiling hub spots in Barcelona. Read more about it on our article: Napbox & BYHOURS launch the first “one to one” smart meeting booth at the Pier01.
Over these 7 years we’ve gone from a small startup to a global phenomenon. For the first few years BYHOURS´goal was to break into the traditional hotel industry and make a name for itself in Spain. Then it started to expand across Europe, Latin America and more recently in the Middle East. Nowadays we can count on 3,000 hotels around the world in over 600 destinations. The BYHOURS portfolio is focused on 3, 4 and 5 stars hotels, and right now we count on more than 100 5-star hotels and ´Grand Luxury´.
The hotels affiliated to BYHOURS are currently located in most European and Latin American cities very close to airports, city centers, stations, hospitals and even concerts. Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Milan, Rome, Brussels, Bogota, Doha and Mexico City are some of the main destinations
- 3000 hotel partners
- In over 600 destinations
- 1 million hotel hours sold
Growth has also been seen within the BYHOURS team, starting 7 years ago with a handful of people in Barcelona, now we are over 40 employees, and expanding into Latin America by setting up a second office in Mexico City this year. Read more about our Mexican adventures by clicking here.
And what does the future hold?
A global expansion is very much on the cards.
The next steps for us is to further consolidate our already existing markets and simultanously expand into new markets. Our focus of this year is to enter the mighty USA.
This is just the beginning for BYHOURS and we are over the moon about what we have been able to achieve in the past and what the future holds for us.
We want to thank everyone who has believed and supported BYHOURS: employees, hoteliers, customers, friends and family.
Cheers to staying alive!