Singaporean technology start-up aims to revolutionise hospitality industry in Europe one hotel property at a time
Award-winning guest experience platform provider – Vouch – has announced plans to expand into new global markets, with the opening of its operations in London as a gateway to the rest of Europe.
In the United Kingdom, Vouch Concierge is currently working with luxury boutique brands Hotel du Vin and Malmaison to set up their pre-stay concierge, and with a further six properties under the Frasers Hospitality Group throughout Britain for their guest experience platforms as domestic travel in the UK surges.
The company has set up an office in London to become its third in-country branch along with its presence in Indonesia and South Korea and will be looking to build on its new and existing partnerships with hotel chains in these markets for expansion. Vouch aims to have at least 30% of revenue coming from Europe and is setting a target of having a strong presence in at least 3 European countries by the end of 2022.
The Singapore headquartered start-up provides innovative AI-powered technology to the hospitality and travel segment, including attractions and malls, to enhance productivity, boost revenue and elevate the overall guest experience. Vouch firmly believes that with technology as an enabler, properties now have the freedom and the ability to focus on things that truly matter.
Armed with seed funding of SGD$1.51 million (USD$1.1 million) led by Forge Ventures, the funding will be used for expansion and product development for a new category of technology for hotels: the guest experience platform. Vouch was amongst the first three companies to be invested in as part of Forge Ventures’ debut fund. Without needing to download an app for a short-term stay, Vouch’s guest experience platform allows guests to check-in, make room requests, order food and beverage and get instant answers to commonly asked questions, just by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.
Leveraging both AI and chatbot based technologies as part the wider guest experience platform, Vouch Concierge has seen wide adoption of its platform in Asia to improve productivity through the streamlining of hotel operations and providing round the clock services for hotel guests.In attractions like museums, users can enjoy the full experience with audio tours, find out about artefacts and even play interactive games to enhance the visitor experience.
Since its launch in 2018 Vouch has rolled out its services and partnered with noteworthy hospitality brands in Asia and is now looking to expand globally. Founder and CEO Joseph Ling said: “In Singapore, for example, we have covered 25% of all rooms under international groups such as Frasers Hospitality, Hyatt Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and the InterContinental Hotels Group. There is a genuine need for a solution that helps hotels improve manpower efficiency and the pandemic has accelerated this need. Our plan this year is to expand aggressively into new markets that will benefit most from a productivity platform like ours, namely Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and the United Kingdom.”
“We are really excited to partner with Joseph and his team, to build the foundation of a digital future for the hospitality industry,” said Tiang Lim Foo, co-founder and partner at Forge Ventures. “I believe that the world has changed structurally in meaningful ways, and I am confident that the innovations Vouch brings to the market will help its customers adapt and thrive in the new world.”
While travel and tourism have remained low across the world due to COVID-19, Vouch Concierge aims to help businesses and consumers in these sectors cope better in a pandemic. For instance, by using the platform, guests can minimise their physical interaction with hotel staff during check-in and other administrative tasks as well as navigate social distancing requirements in those premises. These include using the platform to book usage times for the swimming pool, gym facilities or making reservations at the restaurants.
By incorporating Vouch into their operations, businesses can better plan for manpower requirements and avoid greater uncertainty associated with fluctuating pandemic intensity and accompanying social distancing requirements.
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