HappyBooking is a booking system for small to medium sized facilities. It works for hotels, bed and breakfasts, and really any kind of rental service. I talked with Thomas, CEO of HappyBooking. The booking system space is quite crowded, with a lot of established competitors such as Livebookings, OpenCal and Bookfresh so it’s going to be interesting to see how they can stand out.
Thomas is an entrepreneur and has worked with several start-ups over the last 15 years. The others team members are Henri, a developer that has been coding since his early childhood. He has some experience developing similar systems from earlier projects. Thomas points out that there are also several other people that have been in some way involved with developing HappyBooking during the two years, whilst it has been in development.
We believe that there is a need for a booking engine integrated with a front desk administration system that is easy to use and has a more modern design and features than the current alternatives. We also try to deliver a complete package, taking care of card payments and reports you might need for book-keeping, invoicing and receipts.
A product to be proud of
Since Thomas is also a partner in the hostel CitySleep, he felt that the current offerings from the competitors weren’t very modern nor flexible. After reflecting of the differing business needs between facilities, talking with their pilot customers and careful development of the system for over two years now, they feel that they have a product they are incredibly proud of.
Significant time has been spent on making sure that HappyBooking is flexible from both the users’ perspective, but also the developers. We have tried to make sure that we can continue to develop the system with a high pace when adding new features.
As of today, we have 5 pilot customers and aim to have 100 active clients during next year. The system is already translated to English and can quickly be translated to other languages, so we are not limiting ourselves to Swedish customers.
Like any startup, we are working against the clock to deliver a lot of features on a tight budget, but also finding ways to make potential customers aware of our existence without spending a lot of time and money.
Technically a big challenge has been to create a scalable system with outstanding performance for our customers and end users. Also finding the right balance between new features, keeping the great usability and staying on budget.
A Luleå startup scene?
This is the first interview we’ve spoken with a startup from Luleå, Thomas and Henri say that the ecosystem in Luleå is looking really good with Facebook constructing their new data center which enables many other companies in the region.
There are really positive winds blowing in the north of Sweden right now. Luleå has become a center in the north for innovative tech startups with many successful companies the last few years. Facebook has also established the only datacenter in Europe in Luleå which have brought a lot of positive international press attention to the city and also made it possible for several companies working with the Facebook datacenter to establish an office in Luleå.
Looking for investors
Thomas says that their main goal right now is to find investors to help them with competence and funding to achieve what they set out to do, deliver a complete booking system solution for customers, beautifully packaged.