For hotels, a technology glitch can result in unhappy tourists and millions in lost revenue.
Hotel Ninjas, a Barcelona-based startup with a vision to be the Salesforce.com for the hospitality industry, is launching this week. Cofounder Avi Meir said he was inspired to start the company after realizing that most hotels still relied on “expensive, outdated, server-based technology.”
Hotel Ninjas offers property management and channel management tools (through an integration with WuBook), a customer relationship management service, and a booking engine for hotel websites. Meir says 30 hotels are lined up and are “ready to make the switch.” The company is charging its first customers $4-9 per room on a month-to-month basis.
Hotels can sign up directly or via AppExchange, Salesforce’s app marketplace. Meir told me he recently made a trip to Salesforce’s European headquarters to form a partnership with the cloud giant. He claims the startup is the first hotel technology provider developed on top of Salesforce’s platform as a service offering Force.com.
Hotel Ninjas was founded in September 2012, and has grown to seven employees. Meir is the former vice president of product at BudgetPlaces.com, an online travel agency.
But Meir believes that Hotel Ninjas has an edge over its competition with its customizable CRM and integration with hotel booking websites. “At the end of the day, the one thing that matters to hotel owners is how they can increase occupancy and revenue,” he said.
The founders have poured their own money into the startup, buttressed by grants from the Spanish government. In total, they have raised about $100,000.