Same-day accommodation apps have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. Led by industry titan Airbnb, the hotel industry has been turned on its head by a gaggle of increasingly dynamic startups. Overnight stays will never be the same again.
Yet for all their strengths, the vast majority of these start-ups have struggled to find the perfect balance between spontaneity and organization.
Up-and-coming accommodation service Overnight may have finally filled that niche.
Accommodation Service Overnight Finds Niche
Overnight is a service designed specifically with last-minute travelers in mind. The iOS app enables users to set up authenticated accounts using their Facebook profiles, and then drop a pin in the general area where they’re looking for accommodation.
Hosts then receive push notifications, and typically respond to accommodation requests within just 45 seconds. Users are then sent property details and photographs, pay for the accommodation using the app and are subsequently free to chat with their new host in order to coordinate entry.
The entire process takes an average of just six minutes from start to finish, and Overnight reckons their accommodation options in Los Angeles are around 23 percent cheaper than equivalent listings on rival service HotelTonight.
Overnight is still a relatively small startup at the moment, but it’s expanding at break-neck speed. The company has already set up shop in LA, San Francisco and Austin — thanks in part to a recent $2.5 million injection of seed funding from Accomplice and CrossCut ventures.
Overnight’s army of hosts has been shooting up 150 percent every month since launching three months ago, and they are scattered across 40 countries.
Just about anybody under the sun can join. A host could be someone with a guest house, a spare room or even just an empty couch. Yet one thing all of Overnight’s hosts have in common is shared anonymity.
Unlike rival services, accommodation service Overnight does not disclose property details until a host has approved a potential guest by responding to their initial query. That means all property listings remain strictly private.
According to co-founder and CEO Asher Hunt, that’s one of Overnights unique selling points.
“I think it’s great that people can control their privacy as long as they abide by their agreements and local laws” he told TechCrunch. “We’re invested in the long-term sustainability of home sharing and though people have seen our privacy aspects as attractive for the reasons you point to, we encourage our hosts to communicate openly with their landlords and again abide by their rental agreements and of course local regulations.”