France: Eco-friendly booking platform GreenGo, which describes itself as “the eco-responsible Airbnb or Booking.com”, has announced that it has raised €1.2 million in its first round of funding to lead the way in sustainable tourism in France.
The capital was raised via 420 donors on the Lita.co investment platform, which claims to be the first impact investing platform connecting individuals and social entrepreneurs. Guillaume Jouffre, one of four co-founders of the startup, says that around 300 of the 420 donors are from the GreenGo community.
Having only gone live in May last year, GreenGo was founded on the core principle of going on holiday while reducing one’s carbon footprint.
Individuals signing up to offer their accommodation on the platform must sign GreenGo’s charter and are encouraged to meet 100 criteria that are inspired by eco-responsible labels, including setting, energy management, water management, transport, food, purchases and water provision, and low footprint heating, as well as . According to a company press release, each accommodation is “selected for their experience and the environmental approach of their hosts”.
GreenGo also uses an economic model that it says is more “equitable” than other more traditional booking platform alternatives, introducing a ten per cent commission that is paid by the host only. On Airbnb, meanwhile, the host pays 3.5 per cent in additional fees to the platform, while the traveller is responsible for paying 14.5 per cent.
By introducing this model, GreenGo believes that it can support hosts with their transition to reducing their environmental and carbon footprint.
Since launching, GreenGo has acquired Dijon-based competitor Vaovert to consolidate its presence in France and has accumulated more than a million users and 2000 listings to date. Speaking to Les Echos Start, Jouffre said that the startup had already “quadrupled the number of stays booked since January compared to the same quarter last year”.
A range of diverse accommodation types are offered through the platform, such as cabins, castles, chalets and bubble pods, aligning with Airbnb’s own diversification into unique lodgings through its new OMG! category launch in the company’s Summer Release in May.
Amid the lockdowns necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, Jouffre and his three other co-founders [Mathieu Ravard, Félix Mézière and Antoine Valtat] set out to help people discover more of France and encourage them to take care of their environment. In April 2021, GreenGo launched the Ulule campaign, which raised €33,000 from 490 contributors, to help fund its launch and realise its mission.
It is now in the process of creating a mobile app that will accelerate its expansion and enable the growth of the brand, its community, and the product itself. Among the new features expected to be added are regular monitoring of hosts and the integration of a transport incentive package into its platform to further highlight the importance of reducing one’s carbon footprint.
Furthermore, GreenGo is aiming to reach 10,000 customer stays reserved on its platform in 2023.