Treovi claims to be the world’s first 100% commission-free Web-based hotel reservation platform.
The Swiss startup launched in closed beta at the beginning of the summer, and officially opened a couple of weeks back for hotel registrations, though it had started signing up hotels from early July.
Treovi is free for hotels to register and upload their inventory, while it’s also free for guests to search, find and book hotels. The company verifies and approves the entries made by the hoteliers, who are given access to an administration panel where they can complete the relevant hotel information, including hotel description, photos, and setting up room availability and rate types.
Today, Treovi opens for guests to search for and book hotels, though at launch only 1,500 hotels have signed up, with around 500 in Europe, 300 in North America, 200 in Asia, 60 in Africa, 50 in Oceania and the same number in South America.
However, there is real potential for this to grow, given that it has gained this number with minimal marketing push.
Treovi is still in early development, but there is real potential here if it can build its repertoire of hotels to compete with the more established services operating in this space.
When you first visit the site, you’ll see a very minimalist layout – a simple search bar across the top of the page, requesting your destination, check-in/check-out dates, as well as the number of rooms and adult/child split:
You’ll then be presented with a list of options based on your key search terms, which can be altered by price-range – Low, Medium, High.
And unlike similar ‘free’ services such as Room Key, Treovi is more than just a search engine that directs you to book elsewhere – you book directly through its website.
Users can also compare up to four hotels at the same destination, and contrast their choices by location on a map. While the public beta will include social sharing functionality, the Open Graph interface for user login with Facebook is on its way. Other key features will be announced over the next couple of months.
This all leads us one burning question – how, exactly, will Treovi make money?
“We have a set of ideas for other products, but for those we want hoteliers to comment and collaborate on in the future. We want to provide comprehensive solutions that will really suit their needs,” says co-founder Michal Wrobel.
So, this sounds like there isn’t a definitive monetization game plan so to speak, and the plans are to work with the hotels so Treovi can get its slice of the pie. What pie that will be, remains to be seen.
So it’s very early days for Treovi, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on these guys in the future.