Gooster: The digital concierge service, giving hotels guests an unforgettable urban experience, through messaging
Please introduce yourself and your startup Gooster to our readers!
Hi! My name’s Ardon Wesly, CEO and Co-founder of Gooster. I was born in the Netherlands and moved to Tel Aviv about 6 years ago. My background is in the hotel industry and I specialize in marketing and branding.
Together with my partner and CTO Amit, we’ve founded Gooster. We offer hotels with a concierge chatbot, helping them rediscover their guests, while they discover the city, through Messaging.
The hotel guests access the service via Facebook Messenger (so they don’t have to download an app or create an account) and get amazing recommendations of what to see and do in the city, as well as discounted and skip-the-line tickets for tours, attractions and events. It also gives them all the necessary information about the hotel and its services, a 24/7 vocal point.
It helps hotels increase engagement, revenue and guest satisfaction, while maintaining strong brand awareness.
How did you get the idea to Gooster?
Since my background is in this industry, I really saw the need for hotels to have the upper hand when it comes to engagement and awareness, especially with big companies such as Airbnb and Booking.com breathing down their necks.
My partner is an expert in chatbots and introduced me to this world. Together we saw this as an excellent and more importantly very valuable tool for hotels.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
We’re still pretty much in an early stage so some of the challenges are as follows: proving that you can deliver what you promise, changing the mindset of your service from “nice to have” to “we must have this” and convincing investors that this is scalable with a proven business model.
Who is your target audience?
Currently we’re targeting urban hotels in European capitals such as Berlin, that are in the 2-3-4 star range.
What is the USP of your startup?
Besides offering a service that doesn’t require download from the user’s side and minimum integration from the hotel’s side, we’re mainly focusing on the guest experience outside of the hotel, accounting for 90% of his/her stay. Most of our competitors focus on the experience within the establishment.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
That’s the beauty of it, there isn’t a typical day. Every day is different, and I wear many hats. There are days where I’m helping my CTO with assisting development in any way I can and there are days where we’re meeting with mentors, investors or anyone that can help us or open doors.
There is no standard workday, and that’s exactly the reason why I love what I do and it keeps me driven. I would be bored otherwise.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Gooster in five years?
Five years is a long time in the startup world. Ideally, we’re the number one digital concierge providers for the top hotel brands across the world, also having expanded to airlines and online travel agencies. I also see us pre-IPO or pre-acquisition in 5 years, hopefully.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Start meeting people from day 1 to build your network. Use resources that are right in front of you to help open doors
Focus!! You have this huge dream of the product that does it all for everyone. Pick a segment and niche and focus on that.
Build, test, change. Build something and test it. Do it fast and learn fast. If you aren’t embarrassed of your first product, you’ve launched too late.
More information you will find here
Thank you Ardon Wesly the Interview
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