LeisureLink, which helps hotels and lodging companies distribute their data to travel booking websites, announced today it has raised $9 million in its third round of fundraising.
The Pasadena, Calif.-based company provides specialty lodging places — like condos and hotels — with a service that distributes reservation data to thousands of travel-booking websites. That can include what rooms are open, what the rates are, and what kind of deals hotels are willing to cut to fill them. Travelers can then view all hotels and specialty lodging companies that have open rooms for the next eight weeks at A Better Stay, the search portion of LeisureLink.
The company plans to use its funding to invest in its active revenue management system, which helps hotels manage all their interactions with travel websites. LeisureLink also provides its customers with an analytics suite that helps lodging providers figure out which deals are working and which ones aren’t.
It’s an attempt at disrupting a highly profitable space, and similar to what some startups are doing with flight data. Hotel bookings make quite a bit more money than airline bookings for travel websites, and the space is still growing. And unlike the rapidly consolidating airline industry, which is seeking to cut commissions paid to online travel agents, hoteliers are willing to pay for help filling rooms. Furthermore, the industry is highly fragmented, with a long tail of smaller players.
The results are clear: Priceline’s hotel bookings were up 54 percent from the same quarter a year earlier and have continued to see growth, according to its most recent earnings statement. Expedia, another online travel site, reported that 63 percent of its transactions were related to hotels, while only 12 percent were from flights.
Even Hipmunk, a new startup that takes flight data and presents it in a slick interface, might be including hotel booking information in their service soon — at least, according to a cryptic message by Hipmunk backer Alexis Ohanian. The specialty lodging space is a $20 billion market, according to LeisureLink.
[Photo: Olof S]
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