A startup for travel accommodation helps locate accessible spots for people with disabilities.
Equality for customers is becoming an increasingly firm focus for many companies. As well as widening client demographics, companies that achieve social good often gain more popularity and awareness outside of their customer base as well. Sweden-based travel startup, Handiscover, launched in 2015 to create a list of friendly and accessible accommodations and hotels for people with disabilities.
Handiscover features more than 28,000 properties to stay in, located in over 83 countries. While the main focus is in the UK, Croatia, France and Spain, the startup has recently raised 700,000 USD in funding. They plan to use this to expand their business in Europe. This funding comes from HOWZAT Partners, Tranquillity Capital, and more.
Powered by technology, Handiscover’s algorithm accurately displays properties that are accommodating to people with disabilities or reduced mobility. It also classifies them based on the level of accessibility. Customers can therefore search for travel accommodation tailored to their specific needs. There are three levels of classification. Level 1 is accommodation suitable for people who can walk and go up a maximum of 15 steps. Level 2 is accessible to people who can only walk up one step at a time. Finally, Level 3 lists accommodation that is fully accessible. For each individual accommodation, there is also a more detailed description of the accessibility it offers.
Payments to Handiscover work by transferring money to the property host 24 hours after the traveller checks in. This is to make sure the customer has time to contact Handiscover should any problems arise. They can do so using the 24/7 customer service.
We have previously featured other innovations here at Springwise aimed at creating more accessible spaces. For example, an app from Scotland helps air passengers with disabilities receive personalised support. Another example is an Australian website that allows users with disabilities to rate and review services based on their level of accessibility.