The work of hotels across Europe is improving, also thanks to the Slovenian startup team that created the app Facility, which is best described as a digital brain for hotels. It contributes to a faster and better flow of information in one place amongst all hotel employees, from maids to directors. The ABC accelerator also significantly contributed to its success.
The idea arose because of chaotic work in hotels
Luka Berger, the father of the idea for the Facility app, spent summer 2012 working in a hotel in the American national park Yellowstone. He found out in practice that work in hotels is often chaotic due to bad communication amongst employees. Despite all the modern technology, work organization was still based on phone calls, sheets of paper, and finding authorized people, as well as was often time-consuming and ineffective. Berger saw an opportunity for improving and introducing smart technologies, and returned to Slovenia with an ambitious business idea. One that could launch a revolution in organizing hotel work.
Facility is used by more than 100 accommodation facilities
In their company Creatriks, he and his business partner, Aljaž Ketiš, started developing a solution for better communication amongst hotel staff, and created the platform Facility. It’s today used by more than a hundred accommodation facilities in four countries – besides the ones at home they’ve also obtained clients from Croatia, Serbia and Austria. The recent investment of the Speedinvest fund in the amount of 550,000 euros is also proof that Facility has big potential.
When you excite room maids, you know you’re on the right path!
With a click on the screen of a tablet, phone or computer, Facility enables an overview of all employees’ tasks. The room maid sees which rooms need to be cleaned, lets the repairman know if the rooms need any maintenance, and notifies the reception desk when the room is ready for a new guest. All employees are immediately notified about the tasks they have to do through the app.
Up to 200 working hours a month saved
By using the Facility app, a hotel with 200 rooms can monthly save up to 200 working hours, print at least 3000 pieces of paper less, decrease loss of small inventory for 15 % and increase the number of noticed problems in the hotel that need to be fixed by three times. On top of this, founders say that employees learn how to use the app in a single day, which is a very pleasant surprise for them.
Agreements for the investment took 9 months
Luka Berger admits that the path of startups in Slovenia and the region is thorny, and that investments are significantly lower here than in the US. He says that across the pond, several millions are invested into startups such as Facility, while here they can be very happy with the 550,000 EUR that the investment fund Speedinvest invested into the app’s development. For obtaining this investment, they spent nine months in agreements with the investor.
The role of the ABC accelerator was key for the success of the startup
Luckily, two years ago, the ABC Accelerator opened in Ljubljana, and it played a big role in the success of the Facility app. Founders say that entering the accelerator’s programme was a turning point in the story of their startup, because the team was fully focused on the project but was also motivated by the hard work of other participants in the programme. Berger and Ketiš agree that the accelerator helped them acquire knowledge and get acquaintances without which they would have needed several years to make the same progress.
The American dream
What are the future plans of the growing Slovenian startup? Founders say that they wish to spread into more countries and be present in at least a thousand hotels with their app. The quality of Facility is becoming increasingly known in the meantime, because now many hoteliers look for them themselves and ask about the possibility of trying out the programme. “The Facility app truly improves the quality of work and optimizes hotel’s business operations, and existing users are apparently already recommending it to others. This makes me very happy because it shows the app is an indispensable work tool for hoteliers,” says Luka Berger.
The long-term goal of the young entrepreneurs is breaking through to the American market, where more hotels and higher investments wait for Facility. With this, the ABC Accelerator will help the company once again, having just opened a subsidiary in the Silicon Valley. This subsidiary is meant exactly for ambitious startups such as Facility and will serve as a springboard for the profitable American market.
Sleeping in hotels led by Slovenian digital brains
And what happens after Facility is in the biggest hotel chains across the world? “Exit… that’s it,” smiles Ketiš. Exit in this case of course means a multi-million sale. The path there is long, but who knows, we might soon be sleeping in hotels that Slovenian digital brains will help lead.
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Author of the article: Edina Dyachenko, ABC Accelerator