< PrevNext > Conichi Share Conichi's app aims to change the way guests and hotels interact with beacon technology that allows fast guest check-in, mobile payments and customized mobile messages. It also simplifies check-out and invoicing. CEO and co-founder Maximilian Waldmann spoke with BTN's Julie Sickel. How many hotels are in your network?We have 400 hotels. We roll our technology out to hotels used by our corporate clients. If you're a corporate that says, "I want to use this technology," we roll out to your respective hotel properties, so one corporate can get us around 400 to 500 hotels. That means that those are their sourced properties, so where they have corporate rates or where they source rates. We go to the respective properties and equip them with our technology in order to give those travelers a seamless travel experience. There is a small time lag we have in terms of signing hotels and getting them live because they have to run through a "know your customer" check because they accept payments.How many corporate clients do you have?We have 15 clients, and three of those are DAX 30 [stock index] companies in Germany. We also have 23 million end users, and that figure includes users who access through HRS.You have the partnership with HRS, and you're powering its "smart hotels." Any other players you're working with?We're working with Amadeus, Sabre, CWT and Concur in order to integrate the Conichi software development kit into their systems. We can do a data analysis with corporates to help them understand in real time cost control of their travelers, where they've been, what they like, how much they spend." How does the pre-check-in work?Using the Conichi app, you send your information to the hotel prior to your stay: your preferences, as well as the information the hotel requires to fill out all the registration forms. In America, that's not the biggest issue, but if you look at China, if you look at Europe, it's huge. There are loads of different forms that need to be filled out. You can sign the forms on the smartphone and you just walk in and completely bypass reception. Then, with the beacons on the property, you walk into the hotel and you're recognized automatically.How do the beacons work?We have these little Bluetooth transmitters which we install at the properties, so somewhere at the reception—they have a radius of around 15 meters—you walk into the property and walk into this beacon zone and the respective guest profile pops up on the iPad of the hotel in real time. Then the hotel can also use the beacons to send messages and offers to the traveler. The hotel can also send personalized messages to the guest through the Conichi app without the beacons.What forms of payment do you accept through the mobile payment feature? Does that data get shared back to the corporates or their TMC?Travelers can pay though Visa, Amex, MasterCard, virtual cards like AirPlus, but also payment methods like Alipay. The entire process is FCA approved and PCI compliant. We can provide Level Three data to TMCs specifically because we integrate with hotel property management systems and we can actually extract the data. We can do a data analysis with corporates to help them understand in real time cost control of their travelers, where they've been, what they like, how much they spend—really sort of giving them a digestible overview of all the data. HRS does central billing, and that basically aggregates all the data you've generated at the hotel from a corporate perspective, and if the corporate agrees, we take that data and put it into a dashboard.You also do mobile room keys through the app? Yes, you can use your smartphone to open the door to your hotel room. We've partnered with 90 percent of the door lock market. We combine all the different door lock opening systems into one application having one generic app, our software development kit. And that can be used in all the different hotels, and HRS or any TMC can use it. We work with the hotels, and then we help them and support them to upgrade their door locks. We pay for the Bluetooth low energy module. It's like a small chip that needs to be integrated into the radio frequency identification door locks. It's a return on investment for us; it makes sense to be able to provide it to our customers, and the hotels are already paying to work with us.