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Why hotel startup Treebo is betting big on IoT and Bots?

Released on a pilot basis, the bots can detect the number of people, profile them, roughly calculate their age, and based on this display customized content.

June 13, 2017 / 12:42 PM IST
Irrfan Khan, Treebo's brand ambassador, in a Treebo commercial.

Irrfan Khan, Treebo's brand ambassador, in a Treebo commercial.

The next time you visit a Treebo Hotel, an engagement bot might greet you at the reception.

Bangalore-based Hotel aggregation startup, Treebo is experimenting with engagement Bots and devices based upon Internet of Things (IoT) in its hotels for guests to interact with and access customised content. The company has aggregated about 250 hotels on its platform, so far.

Released on a pilot basis, the bots can detect the number of people, profile them, roughly calculate their age, and based on this display customised content.

Speaking to Moneycontrol, Sidharth Gupta, co-founder, stated that technology would be at the heart of Treebo. “In today’s world of technology, it is hard to predict what will happen in ten years. But I can certainly tell you that we’ll be using cutting edge technologies for managing quality at our properties and a bunch of other functions as well,” Gupta said.

While automation has already become a reality with cleaning bots doing the housekeeping in various hotels across the world, Treebo wants to use tech to monitor hotel operations. Gupta said that the company would be working on getting hotel appliances like air conditioners and hot water geysers equipped with sensors to remotely monitor them.

The company claims to provide a 30-minute service guarantee and fix dysfunctional appliance essentials within minutes of getting reported. With these IoT-based sensors, Treebo plans potentially solve such issues even before a guest can report it.

“We can also have something for controlling the electricity supply of the room. We can link the electricity supply of the room to the property management system,” Gupta added.

Started in 2015, the company is funded by SAIF Partners, Matrix Partners India, Bertelsmann India Investments, Innoven Capital and has raised USD 22.6 million so far.

In comparison with Treebo’s 250 properties, its bigger competitor Oyo claims to have about 7,000 hotels under its belt. Another rival, Gurgaon-based FabHotels claims to have about 150 hotels.

Brand endorsement with Irrfan Khan

Treebo re-built its web app recently which claims to load fast on even weak network connections was featured as a case study in Addy Osmani’s (Engineering Manager at Google) discourse about the future of PWAs.

Treebo is also looking forward to expanding its corporate clientele. And for that, the company announced its tie up with Travelport, a global travel commerce platform, last week.

“Corporates like us. We have about 3,000 corporate relationships, and we’ll continue to develop our corporate clientele,” Gupta said.

Treebo also launched its new brand campaign with Irrfan Khan as its brand ambassador last week.

“We stand for a practical brand; we stand for a brand which has an absolutely unprecedented value for money. We stand for a brand which is catering to a wide cross-section of travellers. Irrfan has a universal appeal. He has a no-nonsense, practical kind of a personality. And this exactly what Treebo stands for as well,” Gupta said.

Going by the numbers, Gupta claims that the brand campaign has been a success.

“Primary objective is to drive awareness, and the one way to measure that is to look at the traffic on the website. We were expecting a 2x-2.5x jump in the traffic, and we saw 2x jump after the campaign,” he said.

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first published: Jun 12, 2017 05:05 pm