BLOCK71 Singapore Entrepreneur Feature — GTRIIP
In this week’s Entrepreneur Feature, we speak to Maxim, the co-founder and CEO of GTRIIP, a start-up dedicated to provide hotel guests with hassle-free document-less check-ins.
1. What is GTRIIP and how did the idea come about?
GTRIIP’s vision is to do document-less check in for every user to get into places like hotels, offices and member clubs.
GTRIIP is a post series-A stage document-less check in platform. We started in Singapore and now have offices in San Francisco. We allow guests to get into hotels, offices and member clubs without having to use paper documents, photo IDs, or any registration form filling.
2. What is GTRIIP secret sauce?
GTRIIP secret sauce is basically allowing you to bind your biometrics such as facial recognition or fingerprint data to your personal details so that only you, the true owner of these data, can share the details with the property and get into places without having to rely on traditional methods like paper forms or photo ID documents to verify identity. It is like having an AI driven mini front desk in your phone.
3. Where is GTRIIP now?
We now have about 100,000 users at 20 different properties using the product. We have completed our series A fundraising last year. For near-term goals, we are targeting to roll out our product at 21 hotel groups globally that will allow our customers to enjoy better productivity by not having to do manual data entry or form filling to check-in at front desk.
4. How is GTRIIP different from your competitors?
GTRIIP does not really have a direct competitor today. Hotels have a lobby to do the traditional check-in, sometimes with an app built by the hotel in-house. There are products that do a portion of what we do. We are different in a way that we are the only end-to-end provider of a guest journey all the way from booking directly with hotel or at a hotel booking website, landing at airport, checking-in remotely with face recognition, entry to the hotel room with mobile key, and even continues with features like messaging the front desk through the app. We provide an end-to-end user experience for a traveler. The second largest differentiator, is that GTRIIP is not just an app, it is a platform that allows the hotel owners, operators, and other third party developers to build their own hotel app using our SDK. We are the only platform that allows a guest to use the GTRIIP biometrics check in process without having to produce physical documents.
5. What are some of the challenges you faced and how do you overcome it?
When we started, the technology and the very concept of binding biometrics to a human identity was still new. It took us some time to work together with relevant parties, often government agencies to ensure that this is safer, and more secure than paper documents, and make it fully compliant with regulatory frameworks. This is a typical example of an innovation, just like ride sharing or accommodation sharing, that is ahead of regulations that are currently in place at the time. It took us two years to get to this stage.
We have overcome most of the challenges by being proactive and cooperative. We cannot just hope for new regulations to accommodate a new process or technology to take place overnight. In Singapore context, organisations like Singapore Hotel Association and Singapore Tourism Board were very supportive of innovations like this, and through them allowed us to further our conversations with Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration Checkpoint Authority to ensure this technology that we are putting into the product and our customer hotels, a biometrics-based digital identity, is secure and compliant with all the regulatory frameworks and benefits everyone. Taking initiative to engage with authorities early from research and prototyping stages of our product features was important.
6. What is your best memory at BLOCK71?
This neighbourhood brings back a lot of memories for me personally. I studied at Singapore Polytechnic at Dover Road, so coming to work here in the morning after spending my time overseas, is a bit of a homecoming experience. From business standpoint, we cannot build a business alone in a vacuum or a lab. We need an ecosystem of early adopters, users, customers, investors, advisors, and mentors to make it happen. One thing we found tremendously useful in places like San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley is that there is a huge support ecosystem to speed it up. We notice a similar culture is happening in Singapore, especially in BLOCK71 and the vicinity areas. We have a lot of tech startups and a community here who is willing to try new things, and larger software enterprises that we partner with such as Oracle and Apple just across the road. We also see venture capital, legal, and book keeping services that are essential. This sort of ecosystem going on here is conducive for someone trying to start a business, especially if it is a technology startup.
We are a B2B2C product. If you own a hotel, office, or a member club, we can help your customers and users check-in and access it faster, easier and make the whole front desk reception experience a lot more secure, efficient, and pleasant. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the full video interview with Maxim from GTRIIP here:
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If you are inspired by this story and have a start-up idea of your own, you can also apply to join the BLOCK71 ecosystem at http://bit.ly/BLOCK71SGApply !