By Cloudbeds | Published on November 3
Hospitality is constantly evolving. Today’s lodging businesses are not bound by traditional hotel models — in some cases, they’re not even bound by walls. Yet technology companies in this space continue to put limits on the way hoteliers and hosts run their business, keeping them stuck in legacy systems — with lots of acronyms — that are expensive, hard to use, and often negatively impact the guest experience.
At Cloudbeds, we think the time has never been better to modernize the lodging technology stack. Since launching in 2012, we continue to ask ourselves how an industry that creates great moments, experiences, and memories continues to be burdened by fragmented technology. We know it isn’t the hoteliers’ fault, and we are here to fix that. Our goal has always been to help hoteliers and hosts attract guests from all corners of the globe, using our technology to drive revenue and make guests happier along the way.
Our lofty goal to change the foundation of the lodging technology ecosystem is going to get even more ambitious — and, with today’s announcement of $150,000,000 in Series D funding, we’re grateful to have shareholders and employees that believe in our mission to power every property in the world. These new resources will allow us to accelerate reaching those goals and further cement our leadership in the industry. We can’t be more proud of our growth rate to this point, and we’re equally excited about the future ahead.
6 pillars of digital transformation
Imagine, for instance, that Uber can time an airport pickup for you based on whether you’ve checked a bag. Your hotel or host knows you’re on the way and checks you in en route, sending you a mobile key that allows you to head straight to your room. Inside, your favorite bottle of wine is there with a simple card reading, “Glad to welcome you back.” The gestures are simple yet meaningful, but it’s technology that enables these memorable guest moments.
It may seem like a far-off dream, but we’re not that far away from a true end-to-end digital traveler experience. We — and our entire team of 550+ fully-remote employees across the world – believe lodging providers and technology partners can work together to drastically improve the entire guest journey, and that we’re on the cusp of a breakthrough. Every day we’re improving those little moments along the traveler journey that make a world of difference.
To get there, we’ve identified six pillars of core focus where Cloudbeds is planning to make a true impact on the lodging industry’s digital transformation:
1. Drive more revenue. We plan to distribute more room nights, attract more guests on direct channels, improve tools that allow properties to take advantage of new revenue opportunities, and create a deeper connection between the guests and their hosts/hoteliers.
2. Enhance the guest experience. If we’re not putting guests first, we shouldn’t be in this business. Let’s focus on the features you need to improve the workflows that ultimately better the guest experience.
3. Prioritize automation. In a time of significant labor shortages, our properties are saving thousands of hours by automating tasks with Cloudbeds, allowing them to run efficiently despite having leaner staff. Whether it’s payments, revenue management, data analytics – we want to streamline all of the core areas of operations so that employees can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time focused on guests and capturing new reservations.
4. Enhance connectivity. We’re all in this together, and we’re determined to accelerate our industry forward by focusing on building intelligent and connected relationships within one ecosystem. That’s why we’re committed to providing industry-leading technology to deliver open APIs and open system connectivity.
5. Improve insights. You can transform your business based on being more informed, and we believe real-time, actionable data should be at your fingertips. From the single guest profile to AI-driven reporting, better data systems and business intelligence will be fundamental to driving that end-to-end travel experience.
6. Advocate for travel. Being a traveller is in our DNA, and we’ve always believed that the world is a better place when travel thrives. Technology is one element to help us realize our mission; the other is education and advocacy. From university partnerships to online accreditation, we’re investing heavily in training and developing the next generation of hoteliers and hosts, so that we can collectively move the industry forward.
Building the platform that powers hospitality
Our most recent funding was led by a new partner, the largest global investor in hospitality – SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 – joined by Echo Street and Walleye Capital; as well as returning investors Viking Global Investors, PeakSpan Capital and Counterpart Ventures. The Series D round brings our company’s total venture funding to $253 million. With this additional backing and investment, our team has exponentially more resources to assist property owners and operators in improving the six core fundamentals mentioned above.
We were recently asked to answer why we make a great long-term partner to the industry and we both immediately smiled. It’s an easy answer: our business model has always been about putting our people first, our customers second, and our business third. We know that when you invest all of your attention into recruiting, nurturing, and engaging a team that bleeds for the hospitality industry, you can mobilize a large global team with a shared passion for travel and an undeniable motivation to make you, our customer, successful. When our customers are successful, we know our success will follow.
We’ve built an award-winning diverse company and leadership team — including team members with deep lodging experience and members with leading technology backgrounds. This funding will help us find and recruit the best talent, particularly as we accelerate our investment in R&D and expand our platform’s features and functionality. (We are hiring by the way!)
As we write this new chapter of Cloudbeds, we’re driven by our near-term goals of bringing innovative and integrated solutions to all types of lodging businesses, while keeping our eye on our mission to power every property in the world.
To achieve our mission, we need to leave behind the alphabet soup of disconnected systems providers — PMS, CRS, IBE, RMS, CRM, etc. — that has long powered the hospitality industry, and move toward creating a flexible yet comprehensive open platform that can power any lodging business anywhere in the world, no matter the type, size, or location. Whether you are a pousada or B&B that needs operational and distribution functionality out of the box, or an international multi-property brand that wants custom workflows and integrated proprietary systems, we want you to be able to build and run your business seamlessly and successfully on Cloudbeds.
It’s time for technology to lead this industry, not limit it. We’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead with this new round of funding and welcome you to join us on this journey toward a future of frictionless travel.
Cheers to more reservations and happier guest experiences,
Adam & Richard