UK: Myfriendlyhost.com has launched its new rentals platform, which uses the capabilities of Facebook in order to foster a greater sense of safety.
The app allows people to see hosts and service providers who are connected to their friends, adding a sense of legitimacy to future bookings.
App founders, brothers Victor and Sergej Semeniaka, created the app in order to connect renters to safe rentals vetted by their own friends. It received funding from startaventures.com, which helps start-ups expand internationally and garner funding from pre-seed to Series A.
The platform itself uses an aesthetic similar to the Instagram platform to display various rentals around the world. From there, customers can determine whether they are ”friends” with renters, providing an additional layer of safety and community.
Myfriendlyhost is also unique in attempting to appeal to a more b2b focused market in the short-term rentals industry rather than the b2c market. Property owners are also able to more easily vet renters and express their concerns about property liability.
Other unique aspects include a lack of booking fees and intermediaries, as well as only direct communications through the app’s messaging feature.
Safety and community have always been at the core of short-term rentals, but a variety of other new apps are attempting to capitalise on this growing market. Most notably this year is Golightly, which advertises itself as being a safe, private travel club for women only.
Other operators as well have highlighted an increased demand for safety in the industry. A report released by Breezeway this August showed that 97 per cent of operators believe guest feelings on safety has changed, with most of them changing their offerings to follow this new demand.
Other businesses have been able to operate primarily off the rise in demand for enhanced cleaning. Rental cleaning service Neu received $700k in funding to provide high quality cleaning on demand.