Originally published: https://startuptalky.com/aiosell-success-story/
Just when we thought the hospitality industry couldn’t get any better and automized, Siddharth Goenka launched Aiosell Technologies in 2019. This venture is all about automated pricing & revenue management for hotels, combined with an all-in-one integrated hotel marketing platform.
The hotel industry is still using archaic systems with static prices and independent systems that do not integrate well with each other and leaves money on the table. Aiosell aims to solve the vision of maximizing revenues for the hotel industry, using automation, AI, and integrated technology systems. The owners of the Aiosell are hotel owners themselves, and hence this company was born out of a need in their own business. When they realized, there wasn’t a suitable alternative available in the market solving these issues, they decided to build a technology solution.
Aiosell Technologies – Company Highlights
- Startup Name – Aiosell Technologies
- Headquarters – Bangalore
- Sector – IT
- Founders – Siddharth Goenka
- Founded – 2019
- Parent Organization – Aiosell Technologies Private Limited
- Website – aiosell.com
About Aiosell Technologies and how it works
The product of Aiosell uses several automation and AI algorithms to change prices in real-time to ensure the hotel gets the maximum business. When the demand is high, the price increases and vice versa. The system uses many other unique parameters to adjust these prices, including occupancy, demand, seasons, weekday, booking window, dates, etc.
The USP of the product is to use all these products in a very simple, easy to use method to automate dynamic pricing and simplify revenue management. The product also integrates all aspects of hotel marketing together to give a one-stop-shop marketing product for hotels.
The product started off using a simple pricing automation tool. Today, it includes all technology components of the hotel industry including Rate Shopper, Reviews Manager, Website & Booking Engine, Analytics & Reports, Travel Agent portal, etc. This pivot was made because the team realized that many hotels could not only use one aspect of hotel marketing, it needed to integrate all these aspects to give the best results.
Aiosell Technologies – Target Market Size
Aiosell’s target market consists of independent and chain hotels of all sizes (5 stars, 3 stars, 1 star) and home-stays & apartments that use online channels to get bookings for the hospitality industry.
There are about 6 million hotels only in the organized segment. Adding the unorganized segment and home-stays, this number can go above 10 million. Over the years, this number will only grow with more alternate accommodation being added to the supply.
“Since this is a highly fragmented market, our market share targets will be less than 1% of the market, which is a sizable opportunity for a B2B business,” said Siddharth Goenka, founder of Aiosell.
Aiosell Technologies – Founders and Team
Siddharth Goenka is the Founder & CEO of Aiosell Technologies.
He is a Software Engineer from Purdue University and an MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. He has previously worked in Microsoft as Software Developer and in Accenture as Management Consultant. Then, he went to join his family business and conceived Octave Hotels, a business hotel chain that grew to 7 hotels in 3 years. Siddharth brings a mix of software development, hotel owner, and marketing professional experience which is key to Aiosell.
The co-founder of Aiosell Technologies is Smriti Singh, whom Siddharth met because her husband was Siddharth’s boarding school friend. She is IHM, Bangalore graduate and was ex Revenue Manager at ITC hotels.
Siddharth looks after the overall product development, vision, and overall growth of the business. Smriti looks after client satisfaction and success. The team comprises 15 members, the average age of the team is 23 years. The culture at Aiosell is very young, energetic, flexible, and innovation-driven.
Hiring funda at this company is based on two pillars – attitude/potential, and honesty/ethics. Competence is given some weight but not very weightage, as that can be developed in other two qualities are present.
Aiosell Technologies – How did it start?
“Since we were in the hospitality industry, this was a need that was glaringly visible in the industry. The industry was rapidly changing with an increase in internet bookings/smartphone usage and changing customer behavior.” Added Siddharth Goenka, owner of Aiosell Technologies.
They were first trying this idea out manually using excel sheets, and when they succeeded, the team decided to make an automated product around it. For one year, they ran the concept manually with a service-led model, and when they were confident of the benefits involved, they changed it to a product-based approach.
The initial people they spoke to were friends and family in the hotel industry, who were new to the online business and had not wrapped their heads around increasing their hotel revenues digitally.
Aiosell Technologies – Name, Tagline, and Logo
AIOSELL – AIO means all in one, and also a pun on artificial intelligence ‘o’ttomation. The name and logo for this B2B company were formed based on some initial research and brand name availability.
Aiosell Technologies – Startup Launch
At Aiosell, product first – marketing second is the approach, rather than the other way. Make the product so unique and desirable, that it starts selling itself. Aiosell has several partnerships with other technology companies and revenue management companies, who provide complimentary services or products to its offering.
The company has formed revenue-sharing arrangements with these companies to grow. The team has now also started attracting leads through traditional product marketing channels like Google, Facebook, Linkedin, and Youtube.
Aiosell Technologies – Business Model and Revenue Model
The business model of Aiosell is SaaS/subscription-based. The listings at Aiosell are priced anywhere between $5 to $10 per room per month. Like in any Saas model, margins are more than 30%, and currently, it has got the business organically without burning a lot of cash.
Aiosell Technologies – Startup Challenges
One major challenge that Aiosell faced was to convince a large chain of hotels to try and use the product. This was accomplished by offering them free trials and personal attention by the founder, Siddhart Goenka. It was also followed by ensuring all their requirements kept getting back into the product development cycle so that the customer was satisfied. Word of mouth references from happy customers is the most relevant marketing channel to grow the business.
Aiosell Technologies – Funding and Investors
In June 2019, Aisoell technologies raised an amount of INR 10,00,000 through an early stage self-funded round.
Aiosell Technologies – Growth
- 150+ hotels located in 10+ countries and 100+ cities
- Revenue generation- $20,000 per month ($250,000 per year)
- Profit margins are as high as 20%.
- Customers across India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Russia, Kenya, Belarus, Greece, USA, and Canada.
Aiosell Technologies – Future Plans
“We want to grow to 500 hotels in 1 year and 5000 hotels in 3 years.” Concluded Siddharth Goenka while talking about his future plan.