A good concierge service, even the ones with tiniest amenities, can multiply the customer satisfaction at the hotels. The founders of German startup i-frontdesk believe that they have developed the software that will help hotels manage such amenities, boost the customer experience by offering guests a simple platform for booking services and allowing the business itself to manage operations.
Thus, they set about developing i-frontdesk, which aims to provide software that will allow tablet-wielding guests to order a variety of services, from room service, to housekeeping, to information, and more.
It is not just internal services, either, as the platform allows users to arrange city tours, rent a car, and things like that. Hekmat is clear that this is not simply an app, but a CRM and CMS platform that hotels will be able to use to manage their operations. Hekmat tells me that they have opted for a pricing model which includes a setup fee, based on the existing IT infrastructure of a particular hotel, and then a monthly license fee per tablet.
CEO Dorna Hekmat, herself a former manager of a boutique hotel in Munich, declined to reveal information about their investors. However, the company participated in the program at Wayra Berlin, a branch of the network of accelerators managed by Spanish telco giant Telefonica, back in 2012 and actually won the program. Hekmat tells me that she decided to create the business, with co-founders Peter Duessing and David Gomez, as a result of her own frustrations in her work as a manager. According to a recent interview, Hekmat was successfully managing her hotel without a concierge, but decided to approach her tech friends with a concept for developing a service that would offer hotels information about their guests and guests with a direct line to the front desk.
i-frontdesk has yet to formally launch, so they have not picked up a ton of traction. Hekmat tells me that they are currently moving to launch a pilot program with 2 hotels and will roll out the program with 2 hotels by the end of the month. The startup is based in Germany, so they are unsurprisingly aiming to start by becoming established in the domestic market and in neighboring Switzerland and Austria.
Within the Germany market, the main competition comes from Berlin-based SuitePad, which operates in 11 countries and claims to reach 35K guests per month. Other established rivals include Intelity and British firm iRiS.