Triptease, the startup that provides a SaaS to enable hotels to increase direct sales, has closed $7 million in Series A funding. Investors include VCs Notion Capital, and Episode 1, both of whom previously backed the U.K. company.
Aiming to help hotels do a better job at direct selling — rather than letting a plethora of travel sites and hotel booking aggregators, such as Booking.com and Expedia, cream off the top of their profits by means of affiliate revenue — Triptease’s best-known product is ‘Price Check‘, a widget that sits on hotel websites and displays prices from across the web in real-time. The idea is to reduce the uncertainty surrounding a hotel’s direct price, and ensure you don’t wander off to search elsewhere but instead book direct and with confidence.
“The main reason why people leave a hotel website to book elsewhere is an oft-mistaken belief that the price will be cheaper (a decade ago that used to be true). We show them it is not and increase direct bookings as a result,” Triptease co-founder and CEO Charlie Osmond told me last February.
Other tools provided by the startup include a broader price checking data platform that scours the web and alerts hotels when they are being undercut, a website messaging feature designed to catch visitors before they are about to leave a hotel’s own website, and — coming soon – a re-targeting ad solution.
But it’s ‘Price Check’ that has seen Triptease make the headlines, no doubt helping to drive subscriptions to its SaaS. In late 2015, Booking.com waged war on hotels employing the price-checking widget, threatening legal action if its prices continued to be displayed. The claim made was that the data had been unlawfully accessed and that the information on display wasn’t always accurate.
Either way, hotels appear to like Triptease’s offering. The startup says it’s working with 8,000 hotels worldwide, including Loews, Barcelo, Corinthia Hotels, Rocco Forte Hotels, SLS Hotels, One & Only, Denihan, PH Hotels, Leonardo Hotels, citizenM, The Address Hotels + Resorts, Red Carnation, Steigenberger and LUX* Resorts & Hotels.