Group booking platform provider Groups360 has completed a $35 million funding round led by Zigg Capital and including Blackstone Innovations Investments, and Fir Tree Partners. These firms join a group of existing investors comprised of major hotel brands, which have also served as partners of the company’s solutions: Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Marriott International. This latest round round brings the company’s total funding amount to $90.5 million.
Founded in 2014, and with offices in Nashville, London, and Singapore, Groups360 is recognized as the first distribution channel to offer online booking for both group hotel rooms and meeting space at scale. It provides real-time availability and instant booking capabilities for both hotel room blocks and meeting space, streamlining group travel for organizers, attendees, and hotels alike.
The GroupSync platform, which is the company’s proprietary bookings marketplace, is designed to deliver greater efficiency for travel organizers and hoteliers. Through the platform, travel organizers have access to enhanced global search capabilities, hotel group inventory and rates, and choice of purchasing method via instant booking or simplified proposal process. Groups360 also provides these capabilities to leading hotels via private label group booking engines. GroupSync is available at no cost to qualified meeting planners.
Groups360 reports that over the last 12 months the company has launched instant booking for group stays at over 7,000 leading hotel properties and booking capabilities at 200,000 hotel properties worldwide via GroupSynch. Groups360 recently announced commercial partnerships with Omni Hotels & Resorts, TFE Hotels, and Premier Inn – joining the ranks of Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Marriott International. According to a press statement, Groups360 will leverage the financing round to continue to grow its operations and expand further in EMEA and APAC.
“Groups360 is reshaping the hospitality industry in a manner that makes booking groups simple, transparent, and efficient for both hotels and event organizers,” said Kemp Gallineau, CEO, Groups360, in a press statement. “Now, with support from our new partners, Groups360 is positioned to more quickly seize the opportunities which lie ahead for improving group travel.”
“Event organizers increasingly expect their entire hotel purchase experience to be seamless, instantaneous, and online. Groups360 has built an integrated, intuitive platform that benefits hoteliers and event organizers anywhere in the world”, said Dave Eisenberg, Founding Partner at Zigg Capital.
“Groups360 offers a solution that is truly differentiated in the marketplace”, said John Stecher, Chief Technology Officer at Blackstone. “The Blackstone Innovations Investments team is focused on identifying, investing in, and partnering with pioneering companies like Groups360 to help take their businesses to the next stage of growth. We believe that Groups360’s inventory distribution model and instant booking capability will help drive industry-wide transformation and can create value for Blackstone’s real estate portfolio.”
“With Groups360’s innovative platform and unique relationships with some of the largest hotel brands in the world, the company is well-positioned to simplify group bookings for both suppliers and travelers,” said Fir Tree Partners Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner David Sultan. “We see a tremendous opportunity for Groups360 to drive online penetration in a global meetings market that has remained largely offline.”
In December, Groups360 announced that meeting and event planners could now book group rooms instantly at over 6,500 participating hotel locations from independent properties to branded hotels such as Hilton, IHG, and Omni. At that time, properties in 1,100 markets offered over 1,000,000 rooms for sale each night through GroupSync Marketplace, Groups360’s solution for booking meetings and events while GroupSync Marketplace provided instant online booking for groups, a simplified RFP process providing direct access to nearly 200,000 hotels and housing solutions.