Expedia leads $26 million round in hospitality startup ALICE

Before Uber poached Dara Khosrowshahi to serve as its CEO, he facilitated a $26 million series B round in hotel startup ALICE as CEO of Expedia. The idea with ALICE is to bring technology to the outdated hotel industry by offering up a system to run hotels on a single platform.

This round brings ALICE’s total funding to $39 million and makes Expedia the startup’s majority shareholder. Last January, the startup raised a $9.5 million Series A round, also led by Expedia.

ALICE, which has customers like Triumph Hotels, Sixty Hotels and Nylo Hotels, offers services like check-in, requests for amenities and room service, communication with the concierge and more. In the last six months, ALICE says it’s grown its hotel customer base nearly 200 percent.

Although ALICE is by far the most well-funded startup in this space, it’s facing increasing competition from other young tech companies. In August, startup Aavgo launched its service to enable communication between hotel guests and hotel staff. Aavgo has only $1 million in funding. With this funding, ALICE says it will be able to make some key hires across its development, product sales and customer success teams.

Expedia did not make Khosrowshahi available for comment, but Expedia President of Lodging Partner Services Cyril Ranque was able to chime in.

“It is time for the internet to expand beyond revolutionizing how our hotel partners market and distribute their products into how they work and treat their guests,” Ranque said in a statement. “ALICE is developing smart mobile and cloud technology to fundamentally improve the hotelier and guest experience at scale. That’s a revolution worth investing in.”

Expedia has also invested in online travel portal Traveloka, on-demand car service startup Wingz, Brazil-based flights and hotel platform Decolar and Room 77, which was acquired by Lola Travel Company in 2016.

Here’s a quick look at ALICE.