TravelTech: Sezame opens the door to experiences within luxury hotels

jean baptiste pinthon sezame

In this interview, Jean-Baptiste Pinthon, the CEO and co-founder of Sezame, delves into the origins and ambitions of his Traveltech start-up.

Sezame aims to provide unique, non-accommodation experiences within luxury hotels to local clientele while offering hotels the capability to manage and monetize their facilities year-round.

Could you describe the origins of Sezame? How did this innovative idea come to fruition?

The story of Sezame has been years in the making, culminating in its launch in 2022. Initially, I was inspired by concepts seeking to democratize access to luxury hotels. The idea was to allow local clients to enjoy the facilities of these high-end establishments, even if they weren’t staying overnight.

However, it was truly after the pandemic that the urgency for this idea intensified. Hotels were severely impacted by the absence of tourists. It was in this context that I saw an opportunity for Sezame to play a pivotal role in their development. We could assist these hotels in promoting their spaces and facilities to a local and recurring clientele, potentially generating additional revenue during the recovery phase.

To realize this vision, we co-constructed our technology with hotel groups from day one. The goal: to ensure that our solution met the specific needs of the hospitality industry.

Furthermore, Sezame’s offering has also been enriched through over 500 interviews with potential B2C clients to understand their specific needs and expectations, thereby providing experiences that resonate.

Today, Sezame is driven by a dynamic and passionate team of seven, with complementary skills and networks, committed to disrupting the hospitality industry.

Sezame has established partnerships with various hotels to optimize and monetize their facilities. We initially launched our operations in Île-de-France and now collaborate with around fifty prestigious hotel establishments in the Paris region. We can notably mention: Intercontinental Paris, Burgundy, Molitor, Maison Albar Le Vendome, Hôtel Lancaster, Hôtel Parister, Hôtel Renaissance Arc de Triomphe, among others.

What are the strengths of your offer?

Our offering is designed to be as comprehensive as possible, catering to the diverse needs of our hotel partners as well as our clients in search of exclusive experiences.

To start, our dashboard enables hotels to manage their bookings and add availability slots for various experiences, integrating seamlessly with their Property Management Systems (PMS).

For example, a hotel can choose to make an experience available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM. This flexibility allows hotels to better capitalize on their facilities without disrupting their internal guest management.

Additionally, we have developed a booking request feature in collaboration with an establishment. This function allows hotels to receive booking requests rather than just opening up slots.

We have also integrated AI-driven features. For instance, our system analyzes user preferences to suggest experiences that match their tastes and budgets. This allows for enhanced personalization and a better user experience.

As for the marketplace aimed at the general public, it serves as a platform where clients can book unique experiences in partner hotels without having to stay overnight—Spa, massage, tea time, jacuzzi, comedy club, yoga, and many more.

What are the advantages of your location in the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis?

The reception we received within the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has been exceptional. We were guided to better understand the ecosystem and also to complete our business formation formalities.

Team Nice Côte d’Azur and Rising Sud have been particularly helpful in our settlement efforts.

In terms of financial support, we were winners of the Start-up Attractiveness competition, allowing us to receive a subsidy from the PACA region. Moreover, we also benefited from the French Tech grant from BpiFrance to assist us in maturing our innovative business creation project.

These awards and subsidies have facilitated our growth and significantly eased our establishment in the South region.

What are your development projects?

Our development projects are ambitious and varied. Having firmly established our presence in Paris, our next step is to continue expanding our offering in the SUD-PACA region, where we aim to form new partnerships with more 4 or 5-star hotels.

The region is strategic both for its significance in the tourism market and also for the close relationships that the clients of these establishments maintain between the Parisian region and the Côte d’Azur.

On the technical side, we plan to add functionalities to our dashboard used by the hotels. This will require additional resources in marketing and technology. We also plan to further develop artificial intelligence to improve the personalization of our recommendations.

In terms of human resources, we are in hyper-growth since our launch. We currently have two people managing both communication and marketing, but we plan to expand these teams as we extend to other regions.



Startups Nice Côte d’Azur France

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