Podcast - S2E4: Vivi Cahyadi Himmel and Karolina Saviova, co-founders of AltoVita

Jul 01, 2022

Vivi Cahyadi Himmel and Karolina Saviova, co-founders of AltoVita, share their journey in real estate and travel tech with Guy Westlake, founder of Lavanda.

Vivi Cahyadi Himmel is CEO and Co-Founder of AltoVita. Having started out working in Asset Management for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers, and having had to relocate to multiple cities including New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and London for work, she became acutely aware of the challenges around relocation.  In 2018 she launched AltoVita with co-founder Karolina Saviova in 2018 to disrupt legacy practices in corporate housing by bringing forward a technology-first solution paired with duty of care. Vivi is listed on the 2021 Global Mobility Top 100. Outside of AltoVita, she’s also an angel investor and a Limited Partner in several UK venture capital funds.

Karolina Saviova is COO and Co-Founder of AltoVita. Born in Prague, Karolina worked for a consultancy in Brussels and then went on to become a business journalist in the energy sector travelling across Turkey, Indonesia, India, and Gabon. It was as a journalist that Karolina became tired of the issues that came with corporate travel and felt inspired to change the sector for the better. Karolina is passionate about delivering dynamic hospitality and it was this that led her to co-found AltoVita alongside Vivi in 2018. Karolina was named Rising Star in the 2021 Shortyz Awards. 


About AltoVita

AltoVita powers the corporate accommodation sector with enterprise software coupled with a human-centric approach that provides every business traveller with exactly what they need.

AltoVita’s award-winning technology creates a cloud-based bridge between the highly fragmented property distribution system and Global 2000 companies, SMEs, and business travellers. The fully customisable platform reduces the legacy 48-to-72-hour bidding process down to a few minutes, providing instant access to a diverse network of 1 million+ housing options worldwide – including serviced apartments, professionally managed homes, aparthotels, and co-living – with the ability to sort by desired amenities, pet friendliness, sustainability scores, and more. All properties are fully vetted and verified to provide duty of care and compliance, backed by an extensive Four-Tier Quality Control system.

AltoVita’s fast-growing global footprint currently spans 165 countries and 1,238 cities. They are headquartered in London, with regional offices in Singapore and Dallas, TX. For more information visit altovita.com.

In this episode Vivi and Karolina share:

  • How they both met and came up with the idea for AltoVita.

  • Where AltoVita sits as an OTA vis-à-vis Airbnb, Booking.com and VRBO

  • The problems faced by corporate travel buyers when booking accommodation, and how AltoVita solves them.

  • The various challenges AltoVita has encountered in aggregating the business accommodation supply chain.

  • Why extended stays are a different market segment to short-term rentals.

  • How smart, proactive vetting of the accommodation has led incident rates to drop to 0.5%.

  • Why sustainability is becoming a key factor for travel buyers when selecting accommodation - and how AltoVita is embracing this.

  • The role of technology within AltoVita, and their technology vision.

  • How co-creation with their target audience of travel buyers has been a key factor in finding product market fit.

  • How they are taking steps to set a new benchmark with regards to equality, diversity and inclusion in tech.


About Real Estate: 20/20 Vision

Real Estate: 20/20 Vision is a podcast composed of 1-on-1 interviews sharing the lives, careers, experiences and professional wisdom of the industry leaders and innovators shaping the future of residential real estate. The show is hosted by Guy Westlake, founder of Lavanda.

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