One hotel stay sparked an idea that became Zoottle, one of the most successful Greek tech start-ups to date.
Greek start-up: Zoottle
Co-founded by Christos Perakis and Nektarios Sylligardaki, the award-winning Zoottle is gaining ground. Zoottle helps Internet users connect to a retailer’s wireless internet via social media.
Christos, who also serves as the company’s president, explained why Zoottle is successful.
“Zoottle solves four major problems that hotels have, by leveraging something hotels already provide to their guests: free WiFi. For example, hotels have the email (address) of less than 10 percent of their guests, while with Zoottle, they are able to capture over 95 percent.”
An idea was born
While at a hotel, Nektarios inquired at the front desk for WiFi credentials. He was given a random username and password which he found impersonal. Furthermore, he realized the hotel gained nothing in the process.
He thought something better could be done to improve guest engagement. Along with Christos, they self-funded their idea and Zoottle was born. Through the technology, they said that their clients are experiencing much success, including:
10-fold increase in guest email capture
40% increase in positive TripAdvisor reviews
70% decrease in negative Trip Advisor reviews
15% increase in per booking revenue
10% increase in direct bookings
Growth and recognition
Founded in 2013, Zoottle now has offices in Athens and Boston. Last year, the company won a top hospitality tech award at the Hotel Experience Show for its No App Required technology, which is able to run a hotel’s app through any browser— so all of a hotel’s guests have access to a hotel’s app on their computer, tablet or smartphone, and not just the typical five percent of guests that have decided to download the app itself.
To date, Zoottle’s client base has grown to 500 customers in 12 countries. While the start-up’s customers are mostly in the hospitality industry, including Best Western Hotels, the solution has been working great for retailers such as IKEA and The Mall Athens.
Greek crisis equals creation
From Christos’ perspective, the fact that Greek start-ups are experiencing success has something to do with the current economic crisis in Greece. He said it’s an unplanned, positive development.
“It has woken up an entire generation. No longer can Greek youth rely on finding a job, they must create their jobs. Hence, the explosion in start-ups in Greece in the past five years has created a robust ecosystem and allows for communal sharing of ideas and solutions — ultimately speeding up development, implementation, and rollouts.”
Getting Zoottle to where it is, he said, was straightforward.
“All of my co-founders are older than a typical start-up founder, with families, children, and responsibilities, thus our biggest challenge was leaving safe and lucrative careers in companies such as NOKIA and Apple in order to pursue this dream.”
As some of the largest brands continue to expand their relationship with Zoottle, Christos admits that so much can go wrong with start-ups especially in early years. For the moment, he said the Zoottle team is “conservatively optimistic” about their success so far.
“We feel like we are in a plane, speeding down the runway with the front wheel just now beginning to lift off.”
Looking ahead, Christos envisions Zoottle playing a much larger role in global customer data acquisition. He said his team is focused and dedicated in three core pillars: honesty, transparency and trust.
“This applies to the entire team, suppliers and partners. This really helps us not only sleep soundly at night, but really makes all our business relationships meaningful…and fun!”
For more information about Zoottle, visit the website
Profiles of Greek Start-ups by Marissa Tejada:
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