Blink and it’s booked
Blink Booking, a new business with its sights set on revolutionising how people book and pay for their accommodation, has launched in the UK. Co-founded by Rebeca Minguela and Miguel Ortega, Blink has already successfully launched in seven European countries and attracted $2.5M from prominent US and European angels and VCs including PROFounders (whose investors include Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com and Andy Phillipps, founder of Active Hotels), Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC and Ballpark ventures (which includes mobile veterans Russell Buckley and Harry Dewhirst).
Each day starting at noon, Blink offers discerning European travellers the best nightly deals at handpicked four and five star hotels in destinations in 40 cities across Europe, such as Paris, Milan, Barcelona, and now London. Since its launch in November 2011 Blink has seen demand for its application, which is free, sky-rocket. Already downloaded over 170,000 times in the Spanish market alone, it has also attracted the participation of over 500 of Europe’s best hotels.
Rebeca Minguela, co-founder and CMO saw a unique opportunity to bring a mobile-centric service to the European hotel booking market said: “Existing online booking services remain search driven on mobile devices. With travel now so last second, people don’t want hundreds of options, but a curated selection of premium accommodations at the best prices for easy, immediate booking. That’s exactly what Blink delivers.”
The company’s launch, just ahead of a particularly busy time for Britain’s capital, is a strategic move for the company as it hopes to benefit from the estimated 450,000 people due to stay in London over the summer months. In the UK, the app currently serves London, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Cardiff, but more cities will be added in the coming months. Hotels where users of the app can book accommodation include the luxury Durley House in London’s Knightsbridge, The George Hotel in Edinburgh and The Royal Hotel in Cardiff. Hotels must have either four or five stars, the best locations and good customer ratings to partner with Blink, ensuring the highest quality of accommodation.
Sean Seton-Rogers, investor, said: “Consumer buying behaviour is driving exciting changes in the holiday market as mobile commerce and same day hotel bookings become increasingly interlinked. Blink offers hotels and travellers an easy and fast way to stay in the best accommodation, for the best price. It’s a simple idea – but the best ones always are because they deliver what the consumer really needs.”
New customers are currently being offered £15 of free credit towards their first booking on sign up, and an additional £15 credit for recommending the service to friends who subsequently make a booking.