With over 250,000 unoccupied beds in 4 to 5 star hotels in Spain every day, and more than €2 billion spent on the hotel sector annually, the market is still one tough nut that needs to be cracked. With peer-to-peer platforms such as Airbnb and Homeaway taking the limelight, hotels are feeling the pressure like never before.
BidAway, the brainchild of four IESE Business School buddies, helps fill these empty beds though an innovative bidding platform. Working with 4 to 5 star hotels, BidAway offers its members the opportunity to bid in real time auctions for hotel stays and leisure activities. The bids are live for a limited period, anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours and start at 1 euro. Described by one of the four founders Luca Carlucci, “BidAway is the Ebay for luxury experiences” where the highest bidder walks away with the hotel room to use it as they please, gangster activity excluded. Luca also informs us that new verticals will be rolled out soon.
BidAway has forged partnerships with renowned hotel chains such as Husa, HG Hotels, Fiesta Hotels and Resorts, San Virila Hoteles and also Nextel.travel which will help then extend their offering to around 300 hotels with spas and 450 boutique hotels. For the hotels, BidAway provides them with a new an effective channel to fill their excess capacity that would otherwise go unsold. Also, the hotels have the guarantee that their brand image wont be compromised, as they will only feature next to brands of a similar level. Given the current weakness of the hotel sector in Spain and the difficultly of fillng their most expensive rooms, BidAway poses a very interesting option for them.
Available in four languages and preparing for international expansion, BidAway is generating revenue and doing around 30 sales per day. Winners of the Emprendedor XXI as the company with the highest potential for growth, BidAway has previously raised €200K in 2013 from Marfil Empresarial, Sodena, Caixa Capital Risk and a US business angel and is raising a larger round for international expansion and to build out their team. BidAway was founded by Luca Carlucci, Brian Reichle, Albert Valentí and José María Carbonell whom all met whilst studying their MBA at IESE Business School.
As you can imagine, the site is pretty damn addictive and many rooms have been snagged at bargain basement prices. If you’re looking for a fun way to pick up a good hotel room or leisure experience then this is a good place to start.