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MorningCroissant, a serious competitor to Airbnb Business Travel?

E-tourism startup of the week


The “Start-up of the week,” a section launched by TourMaG.com and i-Tourisme, shines the spotlight, every Friday, on a brand-new, innovative company that offers a fresh concept and/or a new thematic approach to tourism and leisure. Today, we will be introduced to Morning Croissant, a rental platform that offers furnished apartments to individuals and business travelers.



The initial concept?

MorningCroissant helps travelers, leisure or corporate, to find accommodations © screenshot
MorningCroissant helps travelers, leisure or corporate, to find accommodations © screenshot
Alix Tafflé founded MorningCroissant.fr in 2011 when noticing the development of the rental of furnished accommodations for short and medium term stays.

At first, MorningCroissant specialized in the rental of peer-to-peer short-term accommodations.

Today, the activity of MorningCroissant helps travelers, leisure or corporate, to find accommodations at an unbeatable price-quality ratio.

Whether it is a professional stay or a leisure tourism visit, it offers its clientele furnished accommodations, studios, or even lodges.

What “more” for tourism?

The “more” for tourism resides, first of all, in our accommodations that have a great quality-price ratio.

We offer two types of accommodations:

- Premium accommodations, equivalent to three star comfort, between 50 and 60 euros per night.
- Affordable accommodations, that are functional and practical, between 20 and 40 euros per night.

Knowing that the median duration of a stay reserved on MorningCroissant is of 10 nights, the demand is very high for affordable accommodations.

The majority of accommodations come from partnerships with major real estate groups that provide us with a portion of their park at negotiated rates.

To complete this offer, we also provide peer-to-peer accommodations: studios, apartments, and houses.

Who is the target?

We aim at both individuals and business travelers with a 50/50 distribution between these 2 types of clientele.

Yet our development mostly concentrates on corporate travelers for professional trips.

What is the potential market?

The peer-to-peer rental market amounts to over 6 billion euros in France and 35 billion in Europe.

Accommodations for corporate travelers accounts for a market of 10 billion euros in France and 70 billion in Europe.

In 2015, Morning Croissant crossed the line of 300,000 nights reserved on its platform and hopes to become a major player on alternative accommodations at the crossroads of these 2 markets.

The startup is at the point of signing several new partnerships in France and abroad to internationalize our concept.

What is the business model?

For every reservation made on the website, 15% commission is taken from the renter and 3% from the accommodation provider.

What is your differentiating factor?

Our main competitors are both collaborative accommodations platforms and hotel reservation platforms.

Our differentiating factor is to offer accommodations from real estate groups at negotiated prices exclusively available on MorningCroissant.

It is thus the price and our exclusivity that are our two advantages in front of the competition.

Furthermore, exclusivity also enables us to offer a truly instantaneous reservation with immediate confirmation of the reservation.

Finally, we offer other advantages such as a rental contract, a bill with VAT and a free online pre-reservation service.

We also provide a responsive customer service by both chat and phone.

Do you have an incubator?

We were incubated by the Pépinière27 during the first years of the company.

Where is the launch of the startup at?

Since 2012, we raised 750,000 euros from:
- employees
- a capital fund: Vivacto Développement
- a network of business angels specialized in e-tourism: Go Beyond
- from Internet business angels: Corinne Delaporte (Benchmark Group), Jean-David Blanc (AlloCiné)

In 2013, we created a “media for equity” operation with the group L’Express Roularta to reinforce our visibility.

Today, our will is to include employees inside the company’s capital.

Three employees invested their funds additionally to the warrants for subscription to business creator shares that we had put in place.

Founder

Alix Tafflé, founder of MorningCroissant - DR
Alix Tafflé, founder of MorningCroissant - DR
Alix Tafflé

41 years old, Tafflé is the founding President of MorningCroissant.fr.

After spending over 12 years in technological groups, he left his position as a Sales Managers in London for Gumtree.com (eBay group) to create MorningCroissant.fr.

Alix Tafflé graduated from Paris Business School (ESCP) and from INSEAD (MBA.)

Additional info

i-tourisme : What drew you to entrepreneurship?
Alix Tafflé: “The desire to create my company dates from the end of my studies.

I wanted to solve a problem that a lot of people were experiencing in a useful manner, with a rather big market size and in the sector of activity that interests me.

For many years, I used furnished accommodation rental for my own personal and professional trips, and I noticed the limitations and potential improvements to make in this field.

Due to my experience at Gumtree, it was also natural to look into the online market possibilities.

This is why I chose to launch the platform around furnished accommodations rentals.”

i-tourisme: What qualities should an entrepreneur have?

Alix Tafflé: “An entrepreneur must be authentic, he must believe fundamentally in his project.

This authenticity and motivation are crucial to win the hearts of users, team members, investors, journalists…

He must also be tenacious: it is essential to know how to hold on, go through a roller coaster of emotions and to follow your convictions and vision to the end.

Finally, he must have endurance and be calm. Because entrepreneurship is not a sprint, but a marathon, you have to last the duration.”

i-tourisme: What are your ambitions?

Alix Tafflé: “We are starting our international expansion, especially in Spain between now and next summer.

Then, we are hoping to develop in the United Kingdom via partnerships with real estate groups abroad.

We are also working on several new functions, both for our real estate partners and for our corporate clientele.

For example, we are developing a professional account allowing companies an easier management of the trips for their employees using Morning Croissant.

Finally, it is quite possible that by the end of 2015, we will announce one or several partnerships with major players in the field of travel management.”

Written by Johanna Gutkind translated by Joséphine Foucher the 22/11/2015
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Tags : start-up

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