GamesBeat

What the heck? Japan's mobile-game company Gree invests in a … hotel booking startup

HotelQuickly

Above: HotelQuickly

Image Credit: HotelQuickly

HotelQuickly has raised $4.5 million in funding from mobile-game company Gree. That seems to make no sense, but both companies want to be powerhouses in Asia.

Hong Kong-based HotelQuickly lets users book last-minute hotel rooms at heavily discounted prices. It bears a lot of resemblance to HotelTonight, but it has a different regional focus. The app presents a list of six curated offers based on a user’s location. For hotels, the attraction is that it can make money on rooms that would otherwise be empty.

Competitors include Agoda, an online travel agent owned by Priceline, and Booking.com. While Japan’s Gree is known for its mobile games, the company also recently launched its Japan-focused last-minute hotel booking service, Tonight. Both companies could try to boost each other through collaboration.

“HotelQuickly has expanded at a phenomenal pace this past year to emerge as the clear leader in last-minute bookings in Asia-Pacific with more than 3,000 partner hotels and 100 destinations,” said Eiji Araki, a board member at Gree, in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for Gree to take part in that growth story while teaming up with the world-class talent at HotelQuickly to accelerate our own entry to this space. Our two companies share a mobile-first approach, so this partnership is a natural fit. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Other investors include William E. Heinecke, the CEO of Thailand-based Minor International. Previously, HotelQuickly raised $1.5 million in August 2013.

With the new money, HotelQuickly plans to accelerate its product development, marketing, and hiring to drive sales across Asia-Pacific.

“We are thrilled to have Gree and Bill Heinecke among our investors. We can benefit a great deal from both of their experience,” said Tomas Laboutka, the co-founder and CEO of HotelQuickly, in a statement. “We will be able to further accelerate thanks to their commitments. HotelQuickly is actively shaping the last-minute hotel booking space in the Asia-Pacific, and we are excited to embark on the journey ahead of us with confidence that we are in good company.”

HotelQuickly launched in March 2013, and it has more than 150,000 registered users and 300,000 downloads.

More information:

Gree, Inc. operates as a social network service company that offers its services through Web site and mobiles in Japan. It offers blogs, photo albums, video uploads, messaging system, forums, and reviews. The company also provides au G... read more »

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