Booking accessible holiday accommodation can be difficult. Aside from taking the usual itinerary into consideration, people with disabilities have to bear a slew of rather nuanced necessities, including a wheelchair accessible hotel room and parking space, into consideration before stepping outside the comfort of their home.
Much to the chagrin of travelers who use a wheelchair for mobility, a considerable number of holiday search engines lists accessibility features in a non-exclusive way, making it highly unreliable. Meanwhile, some holiday search engines do not list accessibility features at all. This is where Accomable comes in the picture. Deemed as the world's leading platform for booking accessible holiday rentals and hotels, Accomable was founded just a couple of years ago.
The two friends, Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley, who founded the company have traveled all over the world despite having Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Disappointed with the struggle involved in finding reliable information about accessible places to stay, Madipalli and Sibley decided to launch Accomable in a bid to make traveling easier for everyone, regardless of their abilities.
In 2016, the company announced it has closed a whopping £300,000 (about $406470) in seed funding from anonymous investors from technology and hospitality sectors.
Earlier, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University, where Madipalli completed his MBA (Master of Business Administration) granted £20,000 (about $27098) to the company.
Accomable's other co-founder Sibley is also the chief executive of Disability Horizons, a disability-related magazine, which he co-founded along with Madipalli.
In addition to being an advocate of the startup, he continues to remain its shareholder; however, he refrains from participating in Accomable's routine works.
While talking to TechCrunch, Madipalli remarked that “if you have a disability or are elderly, it can be extremely difficult to find accessible accommodation or a host of related travel services such as medical equipment hire, adapted car rentals, and specialist insurance."
“Mainstream services such as Airbnb or Expedia do not filter inventory on sufficient criteria, nor do they provide information on related and specialist services such as medical equipment hire,” he added.
Currently, Accomable doesn't plan to deviate its focus from accommodation, while continuing to cross-check any accessibility claims made by the listed properties.
The site allows users to filter list on many criteria including the existence of roll-in showers, grab rails, hoists and a myriad of other accessibility features.
The startup's subsequent goal is relatively broad and probably what appealed to investors. This comprises hotel room listings as well as items related to accessible travel such as specialist medical equipment and accessible car hire.
“We intend to expand into listing major hotel chains and providing listings on related travel services so that we can become the one-stop shop for adapted travel,” Madipalli explained.
It's worth noting that Accomable will be facing stiff competition from several other startups such as Handiscover, Euansguide or Brett Approved that operate in the same domain. According to Madipalli, there is currently no market leader.
“Our key differentiator is that we have a very active and engaged community of users that help us source properties; we focus and spend a lot of time to make sure the property is suitable,” he explained. Watch the video below to check how Accomable's payment and inquiry system works:
(Image Credit: Accomable/YouTube)