Simon & Josef wins CHF 150,000 to boost sustainability in the hospitality sector

Article Venture Kick 27. October 2022

Looking at housekeeping practices in hotels, Simon & Josef determined that there had to be a more efficient and convenient way to plan room service. The startup is not only catering to an increasing number of consumers who want to diminish their environmental footprint when traveling; it is also providing the hospitality industry with a simple way to improve both customer service and sustainable practices.

Simon & Josef’s web-based solution allows hotel guests to customize their room service preferences via a survey made available by text message or a QR code in the room. Within seconds, guests can cancel or customize the next housekeeping service.

The first release serves 3- to 4-star hotels in Switzerland first. This market segment alone represents 69,243 rooms in more than 1,300 hotels that could be managed more efficiently, saving water, power, cleaning products, and labor. The company is eyeing an international expansion––it is currently working with one hotel in Austria—estimating a potential CHF 100 million in revenue at the European level. The company sees further potential in the cruise ship industry, having done a test run with TUI, as well as medical rehabilitation and recovery facilities. 

The ease of implementation and use, as well as the focus on personalization, are key advantages over competitors. The startup has signed contracts with 28 hotels so far and has increased its visibility, e.g. being recognized as a «trusted startup» by HotellerieSuisse and building partnerships with labels and organizations like IBEX Fairstay, the Solar Impulse Foundation, Digitourism, and others. It will use the CHF 150,000 Venture Kick funding to further develop the solution and its integration with hotel management systems, as well as to strengthen their sales reach.

The company was founded by Raphael Gaudart (CEO) and Markus Aeby (COO), who bring years of executive experience in business management and IT project management respectively. Their sales and IT team are comprised of Marion Guery, Daniel Studer, and Marc Hayoz, who combine years of experience in the travel, hospitality, and IT sectors. 

“Ventures Kick has helped us access the startup ecosystem as well as a very promising network of like-minded people,” CEO Raphael Gaudart says. “Thanks to the kickers camp, we realized the value of the big picture, a solid financial plan, and the team itself. We are glad to be part of this big family.”