London-based Triptease, a startup that offers a SaaS to help hotels increase direct sales and therefore keep more revenue, has closed a $9 million Series B. The new round was led by BGF Ventures, with participation from existing investors Notion Capital and Episode 1 Ventures.
Triptease was founded in 2012 on the premise that hotels can do a much better job at direct selling rather than letting a plethora of online travel agencies (OTAs) 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.
That in itself is a neat trick, but the startup has since expanded to offer a number of other features built around the notion that hotels can make much better use of their data, both individually and anonymously in aggregate, to increase their ability to compete with the OTAs.
“By signing up to the Triptease platform, hotels with only a few thousand web visitors a month can learn from the millions of user sessions the company are tracking across the industry,” says the company.
This includes real-time price alerts if an OTA/aggregator cuts its own prices in order to manage parity, as well as personalizing the experience of direct online visitors by giving the right message at the right time so as to increase conversion. Or, as the Triptease website puts it, “convert lookers into bookers.”
Meanwhile, Triptease says it will use the new capital for further product development, and to fuel growth and international expansion, specifically in Asia. This will see the company open a new office in Singapore, in addition to doubling headcount in its existing London and New York offices.
Adds Rory Stirling, partner at BGF Ventures, in a statement: “We are very excited to be joining Triptease as a new investor at a time when the company is showing great growth in the markets where it has established a presence. Now it’s time to expand the software to Asian hotels, to make this a truly global product. With consolidation amongst online travel agencies, hotels are increasingly looking for options to help them mobilise people to their own websites and Triptease is the best in its sector.”