Deals

Hungry for forecasting tech, HotelTonight buys PrimaTable

Beauty, brawn — and now brains.

The B-word almost perfectly explains why mobile-only hotel booking startup HotelTonight consumed the assets of PrimaTable, a company that helped exclusive restaurants forecast table vacancies and sell them to members of its private online club.

HotelTonight acquired PrimaTable for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced Wednesday. The buy, which has nothing to do with conquering a new industry, is all about perfecting HotelTonight’s approach to selling the perishable inventory (read: vacant rooms) of partner hotels.

“The irony of a simple, clean app is the sophistication and complexity of the systems that power it,” said HotelTonight CEO Sam Shank in a statement to VentureBeat. “By incorporating the forecasting and pricing tools that PrimaTable has built, we’ll make it even easier for hotels to sell their unfilled rooms. And for our customers, we’ll continue to focus on bringing them the right hotel at the right price when they need to book a room last-minute.”

Launched in January 2011, HotelTonight makes iOS and Android apps for booking same-night hotel stays at deep discounts. The startup has raised more than $35 million in funding; its applications have been downloaded more than 3 million times, and are accessible to fly-the-seat-of-their-pants types in 60 cities in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. But to eat up the growing same-day booking market, the company needs to perfect its demand forecasting abilities.

That’s where PrimaTable comes in. The startup made a members-only service for hard-to-get reservations at primo San Francisco and New York restaurants. The consumer-facing service was built on top of forecasting and pricing tools developed to help restaurants boost revenue. PrimaTable was a competitor to Savored, which Groupon just acquired.

The PrimaTable buy is HotelTonight’s first acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the entire PrimaTable team will join HotelTonight. PrimaTable cofounder and CEO Jamie Davidson will serve as HotelTonight’s vice president of product, and cofounder Colin Zima is becoming HotelTonight’s resident data scientist. Both PrimaTable cofounders previously worked at Google.

Hungry person image via Shutterstock