Have you ever wondered? You needed a hotel in a travelling destination for micro stay but you end up paying for a full day. Why pay for entire day, if you use the hotel only for few hours? Often we come across such situations. MiStay – an online portal claims to solve this problem.
MiStay is a travel-tech company which allows booking hotel rooms by pack of hours with flexible check-in & check-out times. Instead of the rigid full day booking (12 noon – 12 noon) being done traditionally, MiStay offers booking based on slots (8 am – 11 am (Morning slot), 12 noon – 7 pm (Day slot), 8 pm – 7 am (Night slot). Travellers can book a room for appropriate combination of slots and pay only for time stayed. This not only fills the needs of frequent business travelers as well as leisure travelers who require room for less than a day or with flexible timings, but also gives hotels a channel to increase their occupancy and revenue per available room.
|Launch Date||April 12, 2016|
|Business Vertical||Travel & Hospitality|
|Founders Name||Sandeep Jaiswal & Pranav Prabhakar|
|Number of employees||Five|
|Traction||Served over 950+ customers since inception|
What Problem Does It Solve?
1. For Hotels
Micro stay makes a lot of business sense for the hotels given the opportunity to optimise their inventory and increase their sales.
“With an average occupancy rate standing as around 60%, a lot of rooms goes unsold. Through micro-stay, we are creating a new demand; travellers who might not have booked a hotel room otherwise will now book as they only have to pay for the hours they stay.” – Sandeep Jaiswal, Co-Founder, MiStay
2. For Travellers
Removing Rigidity in check-in & check-out timings: The rigid check-in & check-out timings (12 noon – 11 am) does not suit travellers. They do not want to wait till 12 noon if they arrive hotel early morning. They do not want to check-out at 12 noon itself if their flight is late in the night.
Providing Freedom from full-day booking system: Under various scenarios (long layover before a connecting train/ flight, need to wash & change before a meeting, etc.), travellers require room for only few hours. However, the current booking system only allows booking room for entire day. Travellers do not want to pay full day tariff when they use room for only few hours.
Sandeep (Co-Founder & CEO) is an IIT Madras alumnus with 2 yrs. experience in management consulting. Most recently, he worked with strategy consulting firm, Essex Lake Group, where he managed a team of data analysts & programmers to design & develop business intelligence tools for clients in financial sector. He spent 6 months in South Africa working closely with the senior management of one of the largest banks of South Africa to drive operational efficiency and implement profit enhancement solutions using analytical intelligence. During his tenure at Essex, he also developed 2 internal analytical tools for which patents are being filed. Prior to joining Essex, he co-founded a for-profit social enterprise AmrutDhara which was aimed at reducing the environmental hazard from bottled water by providing a sustainable alternative. Sandeep is responsible for driving the overall vision of MiStay to ensure customer delight while leading the on-ground operations, partnerships and business development for sustainable growth of the company.
Pranav (Co-Founder & CTO) is a Computer Science graduate from IIT Madras with over 3 yrs. experience in design & product development. He has been working as a software engineer at LinkedIn where he built a tool to visualize network traffic between data centers and internet. Prior to joining LinkedIn, he had founded a new media startup, Cinemagrapher, where he developed an innovative product to help photographers and marketers automatically create cinemagraphs from short videos. He conducted user research, performed algorithm design and led the entire product development for Cinemagrapher. Earlier, he had co-founded HireFellas, a curated marketplace for photographers. He has also been a product design consultant for startups like Hyperverge & Desto. Pranav is passionate about creating highly scalable delightful solutions. At MiStay, Pranav leads the technology & design to build innovative solutions for customers while making sure that all efforts are grounded in user-centered principles.
What To Expect From Portal?
- Only pay for time you stay: The venture advocate fair pricing. Why pay for entire day if you use the hotel only for few hours? At MiStay you pay only for the time you stay at the hotel.
- Flexible check in & check out time: You don’t need to wait till 12 noon to check-in. You don’t have to check-out at 11 am if your flight is late in the evening. You can select the slots that suits your timings.
- Delightful hotel experience: The startup claims to partner with good hotels. Their average rating on TripAdvisor is 4+. The team ensures the staff, location, amenities & services of hotel are such that traveller would love to come back.
Monetization Model and Challenges Faced:
MiStay charge around 20% of the booking amount as a referral commission from the partner hotels on the bookings done through them. They have partnered with some of the good properties across 8 cities such as Hablis, Bawa International, Kenilworth, The Central Park , Oritel Hotel & more.
Online penetration in hotel booking in India is only around 20%. Corporate Hotel booking market in India is very fragmented, unorganized and largely served offline. However, the industry is slowing moving towards becoming more online. Self-Booking Technology (SBTs) are going to be the trend in corporate travel market in coming years.
MiStay is currently operational in 8 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata. Their immediate focus is to strengthen the supply in these 8 cities. They are actively hiring interns and full time employees for various roles.
Founder’s Advice to Budding Online Startups?
“Run a lot of experiments. Make sure that you capture data comprehensively. Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, it would be relevant later.”
“Understand your strength and exploit it before you start looking out for alternate channels/ talent for growth.”
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