The mysterious Sweden/US based startup BuzzPal has revealed us what they are all about. As the founder, Chris Comella, says in the video, BuzzPal is an advanced version of CouchSurfing with a business model and growth strategy and it seems they are going head to head with a US based startup AirBed&Breakfast.
BuzzPal aims to facilitate people to find affordable accommodation on their travels from locals living in the given destination by enabling the locals to post their offer online with a price tag, be it an available couch, bed or even a flat for a few nights. In effect BuzzPal is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer traveling.
Chris didn’t want to say exactly how they aim to monetize the service just yet. Whether they use the same model as AirBed&Breakfast which charges a 5-12% service fee from the guest during the checkout process or use for example an advertising based business model to go with the transactional one.
Even though AirBed&Breakfast is already up and running (unlike BuzzPal) BuzzPal has still a good shot at the market. AirBed&Breakfast had less than $20,000 in seed capital from friends and family when it started and has only just started gathering users: For example, when I checked they only had two places posted in Finland, five places in Denmark, four places in Sweden, none in Norway, Iceland or any of the Baltic countries. Out of these, the places on offer in say Denmark were all more expensive than for example Hotel Cabin City which is a decent choice right downtown Copenhagen.