SiteMinder bills itself as the global hotel industry’s leading cloud platform. The latest funding round, which closed last week, combined with the recent launch of an industry-first marketplace and the rollout of other innovative hotel technology solutions, suggest that the description may be no exaggeration.
While the size of the new investment amount was not publicly disclosed, TechCrunch reported that SiteMinder raised $70 million at a valuation of more than $750 million. This puts the hotel technology solution provider on track to potentially reach a billion dollar valuation, possibly before the end of the year.
The latest funding round was led by global investment management corporation BlackRock. Other participants include AustralianSuper, Ellerston (via the Ellerston JAADE Private Assets Fund) and Pendal Group. SiteMinder previously raised approximately $50 million in venture capital from investment firms that included TCV (Technology Crossover Ventures) and Bailador Technology Investments.
Founded in 2006 in Australia, the company will reportedly use the new capital to drive increased business on a global basis and also invest in new product development. It will also focus on international expansion. Currently, SiteMinder has more than 950 employees located across its offices in Sydney, London, Dallas, Bangkok, Galway and Manila.
SiteMinder made its mark with an advanced hotel booking platform that automated the process of listing room inventory and rates on as many online travel agencies (OTAs) as possible, which is necessary in order to increase their chances of capturing hotel bookings. Automated distribution technology, which is SiteMinder’s core offering, frees up hotel resources, allowing hoteliers to concentrate on broadening their market reach by seamlessly integrating their PMS or CRS.
Last month, SiteMinder delivered its 100 millionth online hotel booking of 2019, marking the first time a cloud-based hotel distribution platform has processed more than 100 million hotel bookings within any given year. The booking completed a monumental year for SiteMinder. For the year to June 30, 2019, SiteMinder, via its holding company Online Ventures, reported revenue of $67 million. The 100 millionth booking takes the total revenue generated through SiteMinder’s platform this year to $32.5 billion.
Yet even today, a majority of the million or so hotel properties worldwide that have a website presence continue to rely on manual processes to update their rate and availability information for OTAs, suggesting that there’s still plenty of room for growth. The company’s future growth will also depend on expansion into products and services beyond distribution technology that enables automated channel management.
In November, SiteMinder launched its Hotel App Store, the first marketplace allowing hotels of all sizes to easily discover, choose and connect applications to their business systems for greater guest experiences and revenue. Until the launch of Hotel App Store, marketplaces have been closed environments for hotels, accessible only by using a marketplace provider’s designated PMS.
The new offering allows hoteliers to connect to more than 100 applications—including revenue management and upselling, guest messaging, guest review management, room controls, airport transfers and keyless entry—through a single interface and from a selection of more than 80 PMSs or SiteMinder’s channel manager.
Among the applications available through the Hotel App Store are Cendyn, TrustYou, OpenKey, Welcome Pickups, and Oaky, as well as UK-headquartered For-Sight and upgrade2.
The Hotel App Store features in-built smart technology that recommends only relevant applications to hotel users, based on their profile and past selections. The launch adds to SiteMinder’s partner network of more than 800 hotel booking channel and management system providers, which collectively comprise the largest and most open ecosystem for hotels today.
The Hotel App Store came 18 months after the launch of SiteMinder Exchange, a connectivity hub that allows hotel data publishers and developers of hotel application software to transfer guest information between their systems. Hotels using a data publisher connected to SiteMinder Exchange can use the Hotel App Store to access applications.
It also ended a year of pioneering partnerships for the hotel industry—with Ryanair, Meituan, RoomIt by CWT, and HotelSwaps—and the addition of several hotel chains, including CPI Hotels, NEHO Group and Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, to SiteMinder’s global customer base of 35,000 hotels. Hotel users of SiteMinder’s platform are today supported by customer service in 11 languages, a product suite in eight languages.
“We are privileged to support hoteliers across 160 countries with technology that truly makes a world of difference, and we thank our customers and partners across the globe for sharing in our wins and successes with us. The year of 2020 is already shaping up to be another exciting year, and we look forward to sharing more great news in the months to come,” says Sankar Narayan, CEO at SiteMinder.