The world is swarming with me-too start-ups, that makes everything the more rejuvenating when a founder occurs that manages to discover a broken market that’s hiding in plain sight
. That’s what Mike Kennedy seems finishing with Koala, a young outfit determined to update the stodgy world of residential or commercial property time-share management, wherein people obtain points or otherwise spend for an unit at a timeshare resort that they plan to frequently utilize or swap or rent out (or all 3).
It’s a huge and growing market. According to information released last year by EY, the U.S. timeshare industry grew nearly 7% in between 2017 and 2018 to strike $10.2 billion in sales volume.
It’s a market that Kennedy became familiarized with first-hand as a sales executive at the Hilton Club in New York, which, at least in 2018, was amongst 1,580 timeshare resorts up and running, representing roughly 204,100 systems, most of them with two bed rooms or more.
Despite this development, timeshares don’t jump to tourists’ minds as readily as hotel spaces or Airbnb stays, and therein lies the opportunity.
Part of the issue, as Kennedy see it, is that timeshares are harder to rent than they should be. If a timeshare owner wants to book a week outside of the week that she or he bought, for example, that person needs to go through an old exchange system like RCI (owned by Wyndam) or Interval International (owned by Marriott). Kennedy, who spent ten years with Hilton, says he saw a variety of his clients grow disappointed in time with their failure to much better manage their units’ usage.
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.