Tech Hospitality Firm Bob W Raises €40M for Pan-European Growth and Brand Development

In a significant move aimed at transforming the European hospitality industry, Finnish technology-driven hospitality operator, Bob W, announced it has secured Series B financing amounting to €40 million.

Spearheaded by Evli Growth Partners and supported by a consortium of growth capital investors and renowned European entrepreneurs, including Taavet+Sten, the investment firm founded by Wise’s Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi, Flashpoint, and Mikko Kodisoja, co-founder of Supercell, alongside incumbent investors, this funding heralds a new phase of expansion for Bob W in its quest to offer every visitor a local, five-star hospitality experience on a grand scale.

Bob W is at the forefront of introducing a groundbreaking category of genuine tech-enabled hospitality, offering a smarter, more eco-friendly option compared to traditional hotels and short-term rental services. Currently, the company boasts a portfolio of design-focused, sustainability-oriented, full-service aparthotels located in 17 cities across 10 countries in Europe. Each property under the Bob W brand features unique local design and state-of-the-art technology, ensuring guests enjoy the Best of Both Worlds: the reliability and excellence of a lifestyle hotel combined with the genuine local character and conveniences of a private home.

Niko Karstikko, Co-founder and CEO, emphasises, “There is a surging demand for locally rooted, seamless travel experiences that technology enables. Yet, the short-term rental sector has had a shortage of standards and professional operators who can offer local authenticity, hotel-grade quality, and tech to elevate the experience. At Bob W, we are leading this category. Our growth and market-leading customer satisfaction prove that we are heading in the right direction. With support from our investors, we're eager and well-prepared to enter into a new phase of our company's growth and expand the Bob W travel experience across Europe.”

Bob W's advanced technology and applications deliver an effortlessly smooth digital check-in experience, complemented by comprehensive digital customer service and additional safeguards, ensuring guests consistently feel well-cared for. The system enables guests to secure super-early check-ins or late check-outs instantaneously and automatically, depending on real-time availability. The mainly chat-based service, personified as the perfect host 'Bob W', is crafted to convey the impression of top-tier customer service with a personal touch, despite the minimal physical staff presence. Beyond the streamlined online interaction, Bob W's 'marketplace' offers guests access to local eateries, gyms, amenities, and an array of digital products, promoting an authentically local experience.

Central to the Bob W experience is its dedication to local design and environmental sustainability. The company collaborates with local brands, artists, and producers, opting for décor sourced from the vicinity of each location. This approach not only enhances the guest experience with a taste of the local culture but also solidifies Bob W's position as a frontrunner in sustainability within the hospitality sector. As an innovator, Bob W is devoted to transparency and integrity, championing these principles while pursuing a goal of climate net-neutrality. Additionally, the company takes steps to offset the carbon emissions associated with each stay, further demonstrating its commitment to environmental responsibility.

Karstikko adds, “Commitment to sustainability is at the core of our mission. We consider measuring and reducing our carbon footprint is a fundamental aspect of our business, and the principles penetrate our procurement practices, operations, and how we work with property owners. We acknowledge that we aren't perfect, as no one is, but we believe in transparency with our guests and peers. By openly sharing our data, we help our guests make more informed decisions, particularly with our emissions per guest night (in kg CO2-eq) metric. We are pushing the industry to follow suit. Consumers deserve the facts laid bare.”

Launched in 2019, Bob W has rapidly grown into a market leader in tech-enabled hospitality. In 2023, the company expanded significantly and opened 20 new properties across 11 European cities.

The recent Series B funding round was led by Evli Growth Partners, with participation from Taavet+Sten, and notable European entrepreneurs, including Supercell’s Mikko Kodisoja, as well as existing investors.

Mikael Hed, the force behind the Finnish game company Rovio’s growth story and a Growth Partner at Evli Growth Partners, says, "The hospitality industry needs bold disruptors like Bob W. The team is a pioneer in the new hybrid hospitality category, offering authentic, seamless travel experiences enabled by cutting-edge technology. Bob W's growth demonstrates the team's unique understanding of customer needs. We are excited to support the team in their next growth phase.”

“Despite the challenging times in the capital markets, this investment is proof that top-performing companies continue to attract funding. We are thrilled to have these top-tier investors backing us, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs themselves and crucially, our happy customers,” Karstikko says and continues, "We are excited to scale up and solidify our expansion across Europe. This funding enables us to further develop our technology, recruit top talent, and reinforce Bob W as Europe's most loved hospitality brand.”