Comundu is a Copenhagen based software company that tries to make communication within hostels easier and thereby create more awesome travel memories for the guests staying there
Comundu was founded by Mia Grosen and her older brother, Lasse, both passionate travellers themselves. "We've travelled more that 60 countries each and also worked in several hostels on our way. The concept behind Comundu is highly developed based on our own experiences and needs as travellers. After we founded Comundu in the summer 2014, we met Michael in Copenhagen who joined us as technical co-founder, Mia says.
The idea behind the name: Comundu is a combination of the words "community" and "mundo" (world in Spanish). Put together the idea is to bring associations to "communication across the globe".
Currently Comundu is available on three platforms; web, Android and iOS apps. The idea is that the travellers have the same apps for the hostels they are visiting on the way. When arriving at a hostel, the traveller checks into that hostel in the app and thereby connect to not just that hostel but also the other guests staying here. From their web-interface in the reception the hostel provides content to their specific platform in the app. From information about check-out and breakfast time to an overview of all acitivities happening at the hostel to the staff's personal recommendations on what to do and see in the city. At the same time the guests have a forum where they can share information or arrange a meet-up during their hostel stay. "Our newest feature is a wifi landing page for the hostels. Meaning that all guests connecting to their wifi get send to the same page. Here the hostel can promote their daily activity and of course encourage the guests to download the app to stay updated during their stay, Mia explains.
"We're very lucky with the business we've chosen. It means we get to have a lot of office days where we're visiting hostels all around Europe."
At the office
A normal Monday at Comundu's office in Copenhagen will typically start with a morning meeting 9am where both Lasse, Michael and Mia participate together with the two developers and the sales and marketing person. "Here we'll spend an hour talking about what focus each one of us have this week and if we reach the targets from last week. Then Lasse and I will typically have another meeting with one of our partners or investors. This Monday we had a meeting with a design agency we're working with about new posters for the hostels receptions", Mia says. "We'll typically spend 2-3 hours every day emailing and calling our existing partner hostels, supporting them on our current product or discussing new initatives. And then there's all the other stuff arriving in your inbox every day. From new hostels that's interested in signing up, to travellers that heard about us, to media, to your mom reminding you it's been a long time since she heard from you".
Work meets love
"When we did our first beta test of the procduct, I went to Bangkok for two months to stay at the hostel we were working with. In the end of my stay I wanted to do a marketing video about Comundu in Bangkok and asked around the hostel if any of the guests wanted to help me making statements about their experience with Comundu. Luckily a lot of them wanted to and the video turned out nicely. What I didn't plan was that I ended up with one of the travellers, Michael from London. That was back in September and he's now moved in with me in Copenhagen. Since then we agreed to sharpen our staff policy a bit, Mia recalls.
"A lot of things are challenging when you're building your first company. Lasse and I have definitely had some extra tough challenges building a tech company given none of us have a tech background. Instead we have the ideas and the market knowledge. Everything takes longer than you thought it would. And the toughest thing to face until now is that it takes an uncredible amount of hours and hard work to get to where you want to be.
At the same time we feel very priviledged having found a job that you enjoy doing more than anything else. Not a lot of people can say that. And I believe that the chance of hitting that jackpot is bigger when you're starting your own business. Therefore, the price you get for actually doing it, is in all ways worth the risk you're taking when taking the first difficult steps, Mia concludes.
Mia's advice: "Do whatever you can to get your idea tested in the market as quick as possible, so you know if there's a chance of turning it into a business".