Room 77, a Mountain View, California-based company that operates a search engine for finding the lowest prices on hotel rooms, has closed on $30.3 million in new funding. This round, which counts as Room 77′s Series C, brings the total invested in the company to $43.8 million.
Travel search giant Expedia Inc. participated in the round as a new investor; existing investors in the company including Sutter Hill Ventures General Catalyst Partners, Felicis Ventures, Concur Technologies, Expedia’s founder Rich Barton, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, and Hotwire co-founder and current Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff all chipped in as well.
The new money will be used to scale its product globally, the company says.
The hefty funding round shows a quick ascent for Room 77, as the company just launched in February of 2011. But it’s apparently a good time for hotel metasearch, and Expedia in particular is taking a keen interest in the space: Just last month Expedia spent some $630 million to acquire a majority stake in European hotel metasearch company Trivago.
From the start, Room 77 has adopted the strategy of doing one thing — hotel room search and booking — and doing it well. The company has built some pretty nifty features: It provides specific details about each hotel room at a property such as square footage, bed type, elevator proximity and if it is a connecting room. For each room, Room 77 also utilizes technology from Google Earth to generate a virtual “Room View,” which shows what you’ll see when you look out the window.
And while it may be a narrow focus, but it may be a very lucrative one. In a press release announcing the funding, Room 77 cites data that says the hotel vertical represents “the largest and most profitable category in online travel,” making more than $165 billion in gross bookings annually. The company says its own growth has been swift, and that its engine has facilitated the booking of “hundreds of thousands” of hotel rooms over the past nine months alone.
Room 77 offers the most advanced hotel shopping experience on the Web today by allowing travelers to simultaneously compare pricing across every major online travel agency and more, shop across a variety of room types, and book more than 200,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Unlike other travel sites, Room 77 doesn’t stop at the booking. Travelers booking 4- or 5-star hotels, or stays totaling more than $400 on Room 77 get access to a complimentary Room Concierge who utilizes Room...