London-based company plays Airbnb at its own game

Founded in 2008, Airbnb has become something of a phenomenon. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the San Francisco-based service offers an online platform that puts ‘hosts’ in touch with ‘guests’, allowing those with unoccupied living space and other short-term lodgings to rent to people looking for a place to stay.

As of September 2013, the site has linked hosts and guests in 192 countries but now a new UK venture is aiming to take on the company at its own game.

Based in and focused on London – for now at least – Kippsy aims to utilise local knowledge and create partnerships with local landlords. Despite only officially launching in September 2013, the start-up already has over 300 properties listed.

Their founder and CEO, Phil Cooper, explained that Kippsy is there to address a niche in the current accommodation market, offering a local London lifestyle that many travellers crave but are unable to obtain. Naturally they aim to be the market leader for short-stay apartments in the capital, giving landlords and property owners a decent return on their investment while offering travellers the stay they’d always dreamed of.

The platform aims to offer a wide range of accommodation, from affordable rooms in fully serviced London apartments  to luxury penthouse accommodation for large groups.

How does it work?

The process of choosing a property is simple. Property owners create a listing to serve as a virtual shop window for their properties. There’s no exclusivity clause so they are also free to advertise on other platforms and in other formats.

This should include essentials such as photos, rates, any deposit required and the minimum time a property can be rented for. They must then monitor offers, giving the host complete control to confirm or decline every reservation that is made.

Tenants (or ‘Kippsters’ as the site refers to them) are given the opportunity to rent properties that are, Kippsy say, an average of 30% cheaper than the standard hotel charges for similar levels of accommodation.

They also get the chance to stay in a home-from-home location and to experience London “like a local”.

This may mean a cost-effective standard apartment in a residential area far away from the usual tourist spots or it could be a luxury penthouse complete with concierge service and onsite gym. One of the benefits of Kippsy is that it gives visitors the choice to search for the perfect property for them – whatever that may be.

Whatever your budget, tastes and requirements, if you’re looking to stay in London, it’s likely that someone out there has a property to suit. And if you’re a property owner or landlord, it’s just as likely that someone is looking to stay in a place just like yours.

By putting the two of you together, Kippsy aims to provide a valuable service and the sky appears to be the limit for this fantastic business venture.