Jeremy Murat. CEO and co-founder of COZYCOZY
We are talking today with Jérémie Murat. He co-founded COZYCOZY in 2019.
Jérémie, can you start by telling us about COZYCOZY and the products and services it offers?
Cozycozy is a metasearch engine with the largest selection of accommodations in the world. It allows travelers to easily compare prices from giants like Booking.com, Airbnb, Hotels.com, VRBO, Expedia or Hostelworld, or lesser-known merchants like Sonder, Novasol, as well as destination specialists like Gîtes de France, Agriturismo, Adriatic, without having to go through all these platforms. With just one click, users can view and compare millions of offers worldwide and choose the perfect place at the best price.
Cozycozy is the only platform that empowers travelers to find the best accommodation wherever they go. Whether you are looking for a hotel, an apartment, mountain chalets, or whether you want to sleep in a perched cabin or a bubble tent, we will find the ideal place for you, and always at the best price. Launched in 2019, Cozycozy now operates in 39 countries around the world, listing more than 20 million hosting offers.
How does the company work with hotels and Airbnb accommodations to provide customers with the perfect vacation?
I believe the type of accommodation no longer matters to travelers like it used to. Seasonal rental is becoming more and more professional. Many vacation rentals now often achieve the same quality of service as hotels. Travelers now base their decision primarily on location, photos, reviews, and amenities. Thus, to provide our customers with the ideal vacation, our goal is to present the accommodation that primarily meets the travel needs of the user. We take into consideration the category of traveler (family, couple or business trip), the type of destination (city trip, countryside, ski or seaside…), dates, etc. Our algorithm takes into account dozens of criteria to present to our users the accommodations that best suit their needs.
In 2019, COZYCOZY received 4 million euros in funds to launch the service. What were the challenges in obtaining financing to fully launch the business?
Fundraising is never easy. You need to prove that your concept will work and that you have the team to make it happen. I was lucky to have the same team I worked with on our previous successful project. Moreover, B2C projects are always difficult for investors because it usually takes a lot of money to become a leader in the field. But we have our secret recipe for taking advantage of this and have managed to convince investors to follow us.
In 2020, COVID-19 interrupted travel around the world. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected COZYCOZY?
Like all other travel and hospitality businesses, Cozycozy has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. In 2019, Cozycozy only operated in the French market. We did our first TV campaign in France in January 2020, everything accelerated as planned. But in March 2020, the first confinement was announced. Within minutes, our KPIs fell flat. It was something I had never seen in 20 years of my career to date. And there was nothing we could do about it. However, the Covid forced us to review our roadmap. It has helped us bring attention to domestic travel and provides tools for our users to find accommodation near them. During the summer of 2020, when travel restrictions were lifted, Cozycozy promoted domestic tourism with great success. It also forced us to accelerate our international deployment. In 8 months, we have launched in 39 markets! Despite the major impact of the pandemic, the business gained momentum and continued to grow. Today we are much bigger than before the pandemic.
You have worked with other travel websites before. What brought you to COZYCOZY and what sets it apart from the companies you previously worked for?
I am a travel industry veteran. I’ve worked almost exclusively for travel meta search engines and found a different challenge in each one. In 2006, when I started working for Liligo, finding airline tickets was a real challenge and yet we managed to create a leader in the industry.
In 2017, Airbnb started changing the way people searched for homes. It has become as easy to book an apartment as a hotel. However, there was no service that allowed users to compare all types of hosting. We believe every traveler has the right to see unbiased ads to book the perfect accommodation wherever they go. We have therefore taken the opportunity to create a search engine that allows all travelers to have full access to relevant and unbiased information on all existing online accommodation solutions.
The main difference between each startup was that I was gaining more and more experience, which is a great advantage to run faster and not repeat the mistake you made before.
How many homes does COZYCOZY currently work with?
We currently have over 20 million accommodations listed and with each new partner this number keeps growing.
What countries and markets is COZYCOZY currently focusing on?
We currently operate in 39 countries. Our goal is to continue to grow and become the world leader in accommodation search. We have a strong presence in France and our fastest growing market is the United States.
If you could go back in time before the COVID-19 pandemic, what business advice would you give yourself?
Interesting question. I often say, Thin! wasn’t this the worst time to launch a travel startup? But the good news is that people will always travel, just a little differently. So I don’t regret launching a travel startup just before a global pandemic. While the pandemic has definitely made life difficult for us, it has also forced us to be truly resilient.
How is COZYCOZY changing travel for people around the world?
Cozycozy is changing travel for people around the world by giving them the feeling of “having seen it all”. We are the only platform to bring together ALL types of accommodation in one place; hotel rooms, vacation rentals, cabins, cottages, houseboats, resorts, beach houses and even unique stays like treehouses or bubble tents.
By bringing together everything a person needs to see before booking accommodation in one place, there is no need to jump to the website and saves a lot of time and money. We make sure our users have seen everything once they are on Cozycozy, so we provide them with a worry-free booking experience. Moreover, thanks to our features such as sorting, filtering, we give our users all the information so that they can feel secure in their booking decision.
Jeremy, how is a day in your life?
Difficult 🙂 I start by cooking my meal from the day before before my twins wake up. Then I dress them, have breakfast together, and drop them off at school. Then it’s time for work. I start with emails and prioritizing the day. After that, I jump from topic to topic between business, marketing, and technical topics. In the evening, it’s time for the children again. Then I work from home for a few more hours. I like to work at night on dense subjects.
What don’t most people know about you?
Few people know that I love gardening. Taking care of plants or gardening is one of my favorite hobbies that really helps me relax. I try to make time for gardening even if it’s a few minutes in a busy week.
What makes you smile?
When I get home, I hear “Papaiiiiii!” and I see two little girls running into my arms. It makes my day!
What are you afraid of?
I really wonder what life on earth will be like in 50 years, for our children. It is frightening to realize that each year, humans consume more than the Earth can produce.
If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would provide ethical and sustainable food at an affordable price for everyone. Quality food is the key to good health, but it’s rarely the solution we advocate. We cure more often with drugs than we prevent.