A UAE business hospitality startup that’s guaranteed to make noise in 2018!
The following is an AMEinfo interview with Amine Housni, Co-founder & Head of UAE, blueground, a newly founded hospitality enterprise which has a unique strategy that attracted both interest and substantial investor funds, warranting our shining a light on it.
Blueground is an internationally-awarded hospitality company based in Dubai.
It offers uniquely designed furnished and serviced apartments to business travelers, for durations of one month or longer. Blueground leases and upgrades high-quality properties, transforming them into fully furnished and serviced apartments, especially designed to meet business travelers’ needs.
With presence in Istanbul, Athens and New York, blueground has managed to grab the attention of both property owners and guests. Specifically, more than 600 property owners have trusted their apartments to blueground, in which thousands of business travelers have stayed.
“We are very pleased with the trust we have received from property owners, investors and multinational companies to date, especially in a very competitive real-estate environment, like that of Dubai,” said Amine Housni, Head of UAE operations and co-founder of blueground.
In Dubai, blueground has 150 fully-furnished rental apartments, while it is adding 20 high-quality properties to its portfolio every month in some of the most popular areas and towers.
Amine added, “We strongly believe in Dubai’s long-term potential as the region’s business hub and we will continue to expand our corporate accommodation offering. Our aim is to reach the 500-apartment mark by the end of 2019”
How it all started
blueground was founded in April 2013, in Athens, Greece. The idea was born out of one of the co-founders experience as a management consultant. He stayed approximately 5 years in different hotels in Europe, Africa and Asia for stretches of 1 to 12 months at a time. However, the hotel stay was not an optimal choice; not for the company he was working for and neither for him. The cost was too high, the room was small and there was limited privacy. “We launched blueground, aiming to offer a differentiated and cost advantageous accommodation solution to business travelers,” Amine said.
According to Amine, the key to blueground’s success is the continuous investment in technology. Through technology, the company is able to drive efficiency and improve property management and guest-service.
To its guests, blueground apartments offer:
. A true home experience: blueground apartments are located in the same neighborhoods and high-end towers with other Dubai residents.
. Select interior decoration and furniture: blueground apartments are decorated with modern furniture and are fully equipped to the detail of Apple TVs, Nespresso coffeemakers and Marshal speakers.
. Location flexibility: If a guest wants to experience a new neighborhood, blueground can easily relocate them.
. More privacy compared to hotel-managed service apartments.
. 24/7 guest support: as well as value added services such as cleaning, maintenance, and bills handling, that guests can manage through the blueground guest app.
Τo property owners, blueground offers the following benefits:
. Steady cash-flow and 100% occupancy, as they receive their rent regardless if the property is occupied or not.
. Value-adding financing solutions maximizing the property’s annual yield.
. Removal of all maintenance hassle, as they handle all maintenance issues in a highly professional manner.
. Flexible contracts that can be released on short notice.
An investment magnet
In January 2016, blueground raised a $1.8 million round (seed), that was led by the European fund VentureFriends. In April 2017, they raised an additional $6.4 million in a Series A funding round from American fund Endeavor Catalyst, UAE’s Jabbar Internet group and a further funding by VentureFriends.
In 2018, blueground is planning to expand its portfolio of apartments within the four markets it already operates, as well as to expand to 10 new markets.
blueground in numbers
. 5 years in operation
. Presence in 4 cities – Dubai, Istanbul, New York and Athens
. Team of 90 people
Clients (property owners and companies)
. More than 600 owners have trusted us with their properties
. 80 large multinational companies, embassies, NGOs
. More than 3,000 executives have stayed in blueground properties
. 3x year-on-year revenue growth
. $15M revenues on annual basis
. $8.2M funds raised