Canada: Toronto-based proptech company Enso Connect, which empowers hospitality businesses to get to know their guests, has announced that it has raised just shy of $2 million in seed funding.
The financing round was led by early stage fund Mantella Venture Partners, with strategic investments from Michael Hyatt, and participation from Mistral Ventures, Cowie Capital and Wheelhouse CEO Andrew Kitchell.
Co-founded in 2019 by CEO Francois Gouelo, a graduate of the Universities of Toronto and Cambridge, and CTO Peter Sorbo, who paused his EngSci’s Machine Intelligence programme at the University of Toronto to build the platform, Enso Connect says that it answers the need created by the short-term rental market shift towards professionalisation.
To keep up with guests’ demand for hotel-like experiences, operators have to combine multiple softwares and spend more time and money on personalising their offers.
Enso Connect claims to solve the fragmentation of the industry by providing a single operating system for the guest experience that leverages AI communication and smart home technologies. It is also a smart CRM tool which gives operators real-time, micro-detail on their guests’ habits and preferences, allowing them to craft highly tailored offers and win return customers within a few clicks.
The co-founders [Gouelo and Sorbo] are young tech leaders, having built a scalable, global business before they turn 25. With over 12,000 listings live on the platform, the company has grown 17,000 per cent in six months and launched in over 18 countries during the pandemic.
Gouelo said: “Short-term rental hosts are not renting airbeds in their rooms anymore. In return for higher rates guests want quality and delight.
“As of now, no one in the industry knows their customers enough to create real personalisation. We are here to change that and take the guest experience to the next level,” he added.
Hyatt said: “Post-pandemic, the world of travel is going to be very different. The new life / work balance will push a greater demand on the rental markets.
“Landlords of these assets will need to up their game. Enso provides a unique all in one solution. I invested because I like the market direction and also thought Francois is a very smart coachable entrepreneur I can work with,” he added.
Duncan Hill, co-founder and general partner at Mantella Venture Partners, said: “As the short-term rental market grows, evolves and professionalises, property managers are at risk of being disintermediated by a couple of large, Amazon-like platforms. We invested in Enso because they have a vision to help property managers professionalise so they can not only survive, but thrive in this rapidly growing market.”
Ryan Killeen, general manager and partner at The Annex Hotel, said: “Partnering with Enso Connect allows us to further enhance the guest experience through the lens of technology. Staying ahead of the technology curve has been a priority for us since day one and this partnership was a natural fit.”
From individual Airbnb hosts to Fortune 500 hotels, Enso Connect’s vision is to build the future of guest interactions, allowing everyone to build a brand, generate more revenue, and know their guests.