Lou Chan, the Co-founder and Managing Director of GuestReady Hong Kong is a force to be reckoned with in the Hong Kong start-up industry. Graduated from University of Toronto with a full scholarship Finance degree, Lou worked for Rocket Internet a German VC/Incubator and joined the co-founding team of portfolio ventures (WIMDU/ZALORA) valued at over US$90 million. He further explored into the entrepreneurial dream by admitting as first ever HK student in the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Boston, as well as co-founding a funded digital marketing agency with high profile clients such as LEGO, HKLand, British Council, Futu Securities etc. His vibrant interest in tech startup, fast paced working environment and building something from scratch truly reflects on his rewarding career in the industry.
“Within a short span of six months, his remarkable achievements…”
Lou began his entrepreneurial journey in WIMDU Hong Kong as a venture developer, a leading online short-term rental platform for travellers, of which he was first introduced to the huge portenial of short-term rental market. Within a short span of six months, his remarkable achievements in strategic business development further achieved WIMDU HK’s leading position, subsequently leading WIMDU HK to become APAC’s headquarter, overseeing other markets such as Korea, Taiwan, Philipines and Australia.
Prior to his latest venture, Lou was the co-founder of Captcha Media, a HK-based digital marketing consultancy, chiefly handling sales, strategy and investor’s relation. Together with his team, he advised more than 20 business clients on digital stratgy in F&B, art, hospitality and consumer sectors in HK & China.
“…..the idea to professionalize the short-term rental industry was born”
Amid being a frequent traveler and big fan of Airbnb & similar platforms, Lou had amazing experiences working with hosts and property investors of various background on optimising their listings. However, at limited scale it was difficult to garner learnings and deliver standard. Hence, the idea to professionalize the short-term rental industry was born. Riding on the success of short-term rental companies, Lou continues his journey with him embracing a ew challenge as the Co-founder and Managing Director of GuestReady Hong Kong.
GuestReady is a startup that provides a range of host services such as cleaning, laundry, check-in and check-out of guests, but more importantly, manages entire properties, which includes guest communication, maintaining listings on multiple short term rental sites, and ensuring the property generates the maximum possible yield. Keep the unique aspects of Airbnb, but provide hotel-like services that are hard to match. Lou and his co-founders believe they have the skills and the experience to not only provide a superior service to guests, but also by focusing on this segment and the respective services, be able to create a listing that will generate a substantially higher yield than by letting the property long-term.
The startup raised HK$6 million in an Angel Round in November 2016 with backing from the Swiss Founders Fund, Senn & Partners and Georg Bauser of Airbnb fame. Since then, it has raised another HK$24 million in a second round of funding, which will support the company’s geographical expansion to 5 further cities by summer 2018. GuestReady is now also looking to move further into the B2B space by building a back-end product to automate and streamline property management tasks.
When Lou is not hustling around town, he can be found waiting for waves at Big Wave Bay, Soho area or joining open mic nights around town; he might be planning for his next trip or imaging recipe for his next pasta dish.