Social Travel Startup Minube Adds Real-Time Hotel Booking To Monetise Its Mobile Apps

Social travel startup, Minube, which focuses on helping would-be travellers figure out what to do when they get to their destination, has added a real-time hotel pricing and  booking feature to its iOS and Android apps. The new versions of the apps support hotel booking for more than 300,000 establishments in more than 40,000 cities, across 180 countries.

The startup was already offering a hotel booking facility via its network of websites but growth in usage of its mobile apps made extending the feature to phone users a natural next step. An “increasing percentage” of its users (circa 35%) are accessing its service via mobile, it said.

The Spanish startup, which was founded back in 2007, now has around 800,000 registered users, while its apps have had about 1.3 million downloads across iOS and Android. Its web platform garners about 40 million visits per year.

The apps’ hotel booking facility is initially being powered by but Minube said it will be adding additional providers in the “coming weeks” to continue expanding the scope of the feature. Minube takes a commission for any sales driven to via its app, terms it will be looking to replicate with additional providers, it added.

Minube’s updated apps have also had a bit of a visual spit and polish, with profile design tweaks adding a visual activity feed to help travellers get ideas about where to go next. This feed is populated by places shared by other travellers you’re following, plus content highlights from the whole community (and stuff you’ve shared yourself).

Earlier this year Minube added a real-time messsaging feature to the apps, to allow for travellers to create and discuss itinerary lists. In terms of future plans, it said tablet-optimised versions of the apps are on its roadmap. More immediately it is focusing on international expansion — with a plan to launch in around 10 new markets (primarily in Europe and Latin America) “in the coming months”.

It launched its U.K. and U.S. websites in November last year.