Anything that helps hotels improve their customer service levels is welcome in my book. Tools to help them upsell, not quite so much.
To that end, LoungeUp, a startup that provides a platform to enable hotels to jump on the mobile app bandwagon, has announced that it’s raised a seed round of “several hundred thousand euros” from Pôle Capital and several Angels, including Nicolas Baudy (previously VoyagesSNCF and Weekendesk), Francesco Maio (NowFashion, Attractive World), and Didier Herrmann (ex President of Unilog).
LoungeUp’s mobile app which runs on tablets, smartphones and laptops (via native and browser-based versions) is designed to help hotels keep their guests happy through a better interface for hotel services as well local partnerships — and the ability to up sell in new ways.
Specifically, the app offers things like access to practical information about the hotel and its surroundings (reserve a table in a local restaurant etc.), access to entertainment content, help desk, and social networking. The latter is perhaps most disruptive, and competes with a host of ambient social networking apps and seems pretty cutting edge for the hotels that take up the option.
As for competitors to LoungeUp’s offering, these appear to fall into two camps. First up are old incumbents who provide some of the same functionality via the interactive television systems found in lonely hotel rooms. And then there’s newer, mobile players, such as Mobil eMedia’s UStay or Stay Interactive — although LoungeUp says that it’s unique in respect of offering a single app rather than expecting guests to download something specific for each hotel they stay in. Instead, guests are given a pass code upon check-in or when booking that unlocks said hotel’s ‘portal’ within the app.
The funds will be used by LoungeUp to accelerate its commercialisation and to expand its partners list both in the startup’s native France and elsewhere in Europe, says LoungeUp CEO Mathieu Pollet.
The company, which is a graduate of the Paris incubator “Le Camping” was founded in 2011 by Pollet and Lionel Tressens (Ex-CTO of Overblog).