Featured Startup Pitch: Beyond Pricing enables Airbnb and HomeAway hosts to implement dynamic pricing to maximize revenue

Ian McHenry, BeyondPricingBy Ian McHenry, Beyond Pricing co-founder and president

ELEVATOR PITCH

Beyond Pricing is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tool to maximize revenue from your homeshare with data-driven pricing. We automatically update your rates daily on sites like Airbnb and HomeAway to capture local demand peaks, price each night perfectly and win last-minute bookings.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESCRIPTION

Beyond Pricing maximizes revenue for hosts on homesharing and vacation rental sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Our pricing software automatically updates rates every day using real-time occupancy data to capture local demand peaks, price each night perfectly and win last-minute bookings. We are bringing the sophistication in dynamic pricing that major global airlines and hotels use to the average person with an Airbnb listing or vacation rental.

We are live in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, Boston, and Miami, with thousands of users and $1.5 million of bookings priced by our software each month. We see ten-to-40 percent increases in revenue from our users, depending on market and prior sophistication with pricing.

Beyond Pricing - Listing Preview

FOUNDERS’ STORY

Before Beyond Pricing, I worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman, advising major global airlines and hotels on dynamic pricing and revenue management. As the sharing economy and vacation rentals started to grow, we realized that the micro-entrepreneurs that were renting their homes out were at a huge disadvantage when trying to compete with hotels because they didn’t have the same sophisticated tools to help them maximize revenue.

Beyond Pricing was created for hosts, by hosts. We previously managed a number of homeshares for people and we found it challenging to determine the right prices for our listings, and realized that there are no tools out there to help hosts with this essential part of running a short-term rental. We developed a booking curve and basic pricing model to determine when to raise and lower prices according to demand, and we increased our revenue each month. Over time, we added more sophisticated algorithms and new data points to determine the best prices for every listing, every night.

MARKETING/PROMOTION STRATEGY

Our earliest users were our original property management clients in San Francisco. With a few Facebook ads and articles in the media, we got a lot of inbound interest because pricing is an issue that no one else has tackled yet. For now, we’re focusing on raising awareness and expanding to new markets, where we already have a waitlist of thousands of users around the globe for our software.

We are also starting to partner with other service providers, including property managers and listing sites in the sharing economy to promote us as a value-added service to their customers.

BeyondPricing - Calendar Detail

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Homesharing is becoming increasingly popular on sites like Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and FlipKey. It’s a surprisingly large $85 billion market that is growing much faster than hotels, and is already 25 percent of the accommodation market. There’s a whole ecosystem of tools for hosts emerging, mostly centered on services like cleaning, key exchanges, guest communication templates, listing writing services, etc. But no other company has emerged to help hosts optimally price their places dynamically and better acquire guests.

Uber has shown that customers understand demand-based pricing, and the practice of variable pricing is common in the airline and hotel industries. Moreover, demand-based pricing goes both ways—customers are more likely to find a deal when they book an Airbnb during off-peak times when demand-base pricing is implemented.

DIFFERENTIATORS VS. THE COMPETITION

No other product is currently available to help hosts price their listing. We’re aware of a few other companies that are in beta and will offer services like price comparisons or suggested rate increases/decreases, but we’re the only ones that provide personalized, automatic updates based on real-time demand to hosts in several major markets.

We have a proprietary algorithm that uses data collected from multiple sources. We evaluate each listing according to factors like neighborhood, property size, amenities and availability to make our price recommendations. Our tool automatically updates prices every day to get the best rate for each night.

Beyond Pricing - Homepage

BUSINESS MODEL

Beyond Pricing is free for now, while we focus on adding new cities and continue to refine our service. In the near future, we’ll begin charging a modest monthly fee (a percent of booking revenue), which hosts can expect to recoup quickly, with increased earning of up to 40 percent. We regularly see users increase their earnings enough in one month to pay for two years worth of the service—not a bad return on investment.

CURRENT NEEDS

We’re focused on growing our network of hosts and owners. The more that use our service, the stronger the network gets and the smarter our pricing gets. We also are looking for engineers passionate about the space, and sales people with experience in travel and revenue management.

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BeyondPricing logoHEADQUARTERS: San Francisco

WEBSITE: www.beyondpricing.com

FOUNDERS: David Kelso, Ian McHenry

INVESTORS: Caffeinated Capital, Resolute Ventures, Structure Capital

YEAR FOUNDED: 2013

TWITTER: @BeyondPricing

ANGELLIST: angel.co/beyond-pricing

LINKEDIN: linkedin.com/company/beyond-pricing

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/beyond.pricing

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