Stayzilla.com, an online marketplace for ‘stays’ launched their B2B mobile app ‘Sell Rooms’ for Android platform. The app focuses on stay partners listed on the portal. Available for free download on play store, the app is developed by the technology team of Stayzilla.
StayZilla was started under the name Inasra.com but then it was rebranded to StayZilla, to convey the idea of its expanding reach(StayZilla - stay in every ‘zilla’ (district)) in 2010. From Kargil to Kanyakumari, Stayzilla offers stay choices in 1100+ tier 1, 2 & 3 cities in India, and has a network of over 18,000 stay options. The company raised an angel funding of $0.5 million from the Indian Angel Network, also another round of Series A funding from Matrix Partners.
The main purpose of the app is to make it easy for Hotelowners, Homestays, Lodges, Guesthouses, Serviced Apartments, Boutique Hotels, Resorts, Boat Houses, Jungle Camps, BnBs etc. to promote their property for real-time on Stayzilla.com. As this would also help them increase their business reach and earning potential. The app is SMS enabled and does not require internet connectivity to facilitate listing of rooms instantly online.
In the last two months the app was piloted, the app has been downloaded and tested by over 1500 users from tier 2 and 3 cities updating their rooms live on the website. The app boasts of an engagement rate of around 90%, with an overwhelming majority of property owners using the app on a daily basis. The best part of the app is that it works without a data plan.
Earlier, updating inventory on the website took around 3-4 hours but with the app the upadtes are reflected instantly. Sachit Singhi, Cofounder and Director of Partnerships, Stayzilla.com said
Having launched recently we are pleased to state that 60%-70% of rooms listed through the app are booked, particularly last minute customers. On our app strategy, we made a conscious decision to target businesses first to ensure we had all our ‘stay’ partners online facilitating efficient bookings of rooms particularly in Tier 2 and 3 towns and cities.
A marketplace model is quite difficult to start and sustain as more players jump in. At present we have Quikr, OLX, eBay, Snapdeal and now Flipkart and Amazon playing in India. The biggest problem which is faced by them is acquiring users at early stage as they face the classic chicken-egg situation. Also verifying both parties has become increasingly difficult for marketplaces as they keep growing. StayZilla has got some good numbers to prove that their model works, while it is quite difficult to say that how many clones survive in this situation.
The app can be downloaded here.
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