A Rare Non-Tech Startup Vstayhappy is Bringing Budget Accommodation to Corporate Clients
Vstayhappy Accomodation is a startup aggregating budget accomodation in the unorganized sector for a target customer base of individuals but mostly organizations looking for company guest houses fro their employees. Founded in 2015 they have already signed on Portea and CafeCoffeeDay.
Among the many startup funded by large VCs at impressive million, billion dollar figures, there are stories similar to Vstayhappy Accomodation. In fact there are more startups that go unnoticed by the media because they are not flashy enough. BWDisrupt hopes to break the trend with this story about a new company in budget hospitality trying to make it big with a corporate clientele. Because what’s a startup if it isn’t a new company.
How did Vstayhappy start?
It was founded by Syed Aqeel Abbas and Syed Jurrath Abbas in the year 2015.
Syed Aqeel Abbas, Founder, Investor relations and Overseer is a computer science engineer from Cambridge Institute of Technology, Bangalore. Aqeel Abbas started his career at the age of 22 by undertaking freelancing projects with small teams to develop websites and e-commerce portals. As his tryst with e-commerce grew deeper, he developed a vision to launch an e-commerce portal of his own. That vision grew into the inception of an online portal for budget accommodations services anywhere in Bangalore, India known as Vstayhappy.
Syed Jurrath Abbas, Co-Founder and COO, is a business man by experience. He owned a number of PGs for a few months before stepping into the decision-making shoes at Vstayhappy as the COO. He handles the day-to-day operations like customer service and payment processing.
In fact, Jurrath Abbas analyzed the opportunity by his experience in the Paying Guest Business and shared the same idea with his childhood friend Syed Aqeel Abbas at CafeCoffeeDay, Koramangala, Bangalore. This soon led to a vision of making budget accommodation services for corporate companies through an online portal resulting in the creation of Vstayhappy
What is the market size and market opportunity?
Syed Aqeel, CEO of Vstayhappy says, "It is estimated $30-billion budget hotel accommodation market. Bangalore is teeming with student population, considering a host of colleges and learning institutions the city currently houses. This in turn gives rise to the thriving business of paying guest (PG) accommodations."
"From college students looking for spacious rooms to call home, to working professionals hunting for the comforts of a good living, away from their families, PGs are the most common resort for single souls, who come here to pursue their education or careers. This market is unorganized and not skilled therefore the companies staff are not satisfied.We are a group of organized and experienced people to provide accommodation solution for the companies staff."
What are the traction details?
We have already tied up with big companies like CafeCoffeeDay and Portea and currently negotiating a deal with manipal hospital; Vstayhappy has served approximately a 1000 customers since inception in 2015.
What are the challenges your startup faced while setting up the business? The best and worst memories while setting up?
Initially when we started this business there were many problems that we faced. The landlords of the buildings were not ready to give their buildings to us since we were young and lacked experience. There was an instance when a landlord said no straight to our faces. I could quote it as one of our worst memories. But then you also have great memories like the time we signed Portea as our client.
Services offered by Vstayhappy
Vstayhappy is registered under Companies Act 2013 as a Bangalore based accommodation provider aspiring to be India’s largest accommodation service provider. It offers long term budget accommodation for individuals, SMEs and larger enterprises.
VStayHappy works by helping corporate companies, SMEs identify their requirements for corporate guest accommodation, then finding real estate and a landlord ready to meet these needs. Vstayhappy will then negotiate a mutual agreement with the corporate client for a period of 11 months at a time.
Funding status and monetization model
Vstayhappy is currently funded by the founders' private wealth.
How are you different from the existing ones?
Syed Aqeel Abbas says, “As you can understand from our working model what we do and how we do, that we take care of our clients from a-z as per our contract. We provide accommodation at a very reasonable rate and location wise accommodation to corporate companies. There is no Brokerage Cost. We provide homely environment and a hassle-free stay.
What advice you want to give the new entrants in this space?
Before starting any business, understand the market and the opportunities then try with limited resources. If this works, then the business will of course flourish with ample cash infusion.
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