18th December 2023

DèsVuStays : finding a home away from home

Alec, Joao and Eric, who has just joined, have created DèsVuStays, a B2B platform that offers all types of accommodation, from company accommodation to long-stay hotel accommodation, thereby helping companies to streamline their search for temporary accommodation for expatriate employees and others. Find out more about their backgrounds, visions and challenges in this article. Happy reading!

Presenting DèsVuStays

Hello, my name is Alec Hilbert and this is Joao Mesquita we are both the founders of DèsVuStays. We both grew up in Luxembourg even though Joao is originally from Portugal. 

Our history is not what anyone might anticipate; Joao left school to run his marketing agency, and I attended two different high schools before completing my degree at the Luxembourg Hotel School.

Nevertheless, we both expected more from life and were looking for ways to realise it!

Before starting the idea of DèsVuStays Joao worked as a business developer at a property management company in Luxembourg, and I myself, I worked as sales freelance for the same company.

That's where we essentially met and started our strong connection. I looked up to Joao as a role model because of his business sense and way of thinking. He thinks in a way that is different from anything I have ever seen.

After he left the company, he came to me and said that he saw a narrative in the market where there is potential for. Long story short we both started working on this idea of developing a software which fits into this market gap.

Since I had no prior business experience, I basically had to learn everything from scratch. However, when it came to business development, I can say in confidence that my background in hospitality gave me a lot of interpersonal skills that helped me move the company ahead.

We complement each other very well and are constantly learning from each other in order to become the best versions of ourselves.

We have a very clear vision and all the necessary components to make this startup successful thanks to the support and input of a diverse range of individuals.

Presenting our business

The services we provide

To put it in a nutshell we are kind of like an “Airbnb” for companies.

We only focus on the B2B sector and help companies streamlining the booking process when it comes to finding a temporary accommodation for employees etc.

We offer all kind of accommodation which goes from corporate housing to extend-stay hotels.

We regroup property managers who provide temporary housing and on the other hand we showcase their housing options to our partners while speeding up the fragmented housing search.

Additionally, we take care of the client support and act as an intermediary to facilitate the whole communication process.

A vision we share

Becoming the largest corporate housing platform, coupling business travel & relocation at scale.

Sharing some positive insights of Luxembourg

Even though the country is pretty small, there are many things to explore as a newcomer. It depends a bit on personal interest, but Luxembourg has a lot to offer when it comes to hiking in the nature (e.g. little Switzerland – Müllerthal) and exploring historical places (e.g. the fortress and casemates of Luxembourg).    

What we would definitely recommend is a guided tour in the heart of Luxembourg where you get a better understanding of the historical background of the city and why Luxembourg became dominant in the steel and financial sector.

 Also, you should definitely rent a car and visit different historical places in the country.

Difficulties and challenges

We first encountered some challenges implementing our go-to-market plan. We were unsure about where to begin because this industry is so fragmented and involves so many different parties.

Being agile is essential for us as a software startup, and that's what enabled us to figure out how to proceed.

The largest issue, in my opinion, is continuing to remain open to change and criticism. Although we believed we were acting appropriately, with the support of our F4S coach, we soon saw that we needed to modify our procedure.

How did you finance your business/project?

We raised capital from FFF (Friends, Family, Fools) to start building our MVP (minimum viable product) last year in September. With this first money injection, we participated in the 13th edition of Fit4Start, an accelerator program in Luxembourg and managed to win it among other 6 Startups.

Due to that, we received a grant from the government and are right now in the process of raising money to scale our team and business.

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The banker’s advice

Alec and Joao had 2 questions for our advisors. We asked Alain MUSIDLAK, Assistant Team Manager, Corporate Banking for his advice to the young entrepreneurs.

How long does it take to open a bank account for a Startup?

The timeframe for opening a business bank account in Luxembourg can vary depending on the complexity of the group structuring and the documentation provided. More intricate corporate structures or multinational arrangements may involve additional due diligence and documentation, potentially extending the processing time. Generally, it may take a few days to several weeks to open a bank account for a Startup. It's advisable to contact your chosen bank directly and to communicate openly with the bank to ensure that you provide all necessary details and documents to streamline the process as much as possible.

Are there any specific criteria to open a company bank account in Luxembourg?

Yes, Luxemburgish banks require companies to have a substantial physical presence within the country to open a bank account. This can include having an address, a physical office, employees, all the equipment required for their business or other business operations there