Mews Systems, a software startup developing property management solutions for hotels and hostels, today announced that it has raised $33 million in funding led by Battery Ventures, bringing its total raised to over $40 million. CEO Matthijs Welle says the fresh capital will support Mews’ U.S. expansion, chiefly the opening of its New York City office.
“Mews has a bold vision for where hospitality can go that extends far beyond our mobile check-in technology or plug-and-play marketplace,” said Welle. “We want to redefine the modern stay from the ground up by improving operations, enhancing branding, and empowering staff to become a high-functioning and resourceful experience design and curation team. We’re thrilled to be on course for consecutive 200% [year-over-year] growth, so it’s exciting to see a real appetite for change.”
Welle cofounded Mews in 2012 with fellow ex-hotelier Richard Valtr out of a windowless office in the Czech Republic with just five employees. The company has since expanded its headcount to over 250 employees spread across London and New York locations, and its client base now reaches over 1,000 properties with a combined 130,000 beds across 47 countries. Clients include brands like Accor, Generator, Collective, the LifeHouse Group, APX, Tsogo Sun, Wombat’s, Clink, and Machefert.
“The hospitality industry has been slow in adapting to today’s guests’ expectations to make their stay easy, enjoyable, and memorable. Mews was created to help hotels run far more efficiently so that they can switch their focus entirely back to the guest,” said Valtr, adding that Mews handles over $150 million in hotel and ancillary transactions per month. “We are building technology that enhances human capabilities to elevate the design and curation of experiences as the primary business of hospitality, away from repetitive data entry.”
Mews’ cloud-based and mobile-first tool suite aims to simplify tasks like registration while playing nicely with legacy systems. To this end, Operator — Mews’ reception desk product — allows guests to register with tablets and takes most forms of payment. Customers provide credit or debit card details at check-in, at which point their accounts are either charged or preauthorized in order to cut down on chargebacks.
Mews claims its six-step Distributor booking engine generates some of the industry’s highest conversion rates and that 40% of guests choose to check in online so they can skip queues at reception.
From within Mews’ bespoke multi-property backend, managers get an overview of departments from reservations to maintenance, and they’re able to generate reports and schedule report export jobs. Thanks to a collaboration with Snapshot Analytics, users can view and track such metrics as pickup trends and available inventory (like individual beds, dorms, and private rooms) through a customizable dashboard, as well as monitoring competition and revenue projections.
The Marketplace extends Mews’ capabilities further by letting property owners plug in popular apps, tools, and services, from accounting software like Bookboost and Basware to guest technology platforms such as I Am Max and Acentic. The breadth of support extends to reputation management solutions like GuestRevu and to software that addresses pain points in facility management (e.g., 4Suites, Leviy, Room Checking), point of sales (Lightspeed), distribution (SiteMinder), upselling (GuestJoy, HotelFlex), event management (LetShare), business intelligence (Hotellistat), and more.
This robust support for third-party systems is one way Mews sets itself apart from rivals Eviivo, Revinate, Guestline, Hotel Perfect, Hotelogix, 5stelle, and others, according to Battery Venture’s Sanjiv Kalevar. Affordable subscription plans are another point in its favor: A basic plan is €7.01 ($7.77) per room per month, ranging up to €15.29 ($16.95) per room per month for features like custom API access and support, unlimited premium integrations, and more.
“The [roughly] $8 trillion global travel and tourism industry has undergone a great deal of change over the last 20 years as both businesses and consumers continue to adopt digital [and] increasingly cloud-based software,” said Kalevar, who plans to join the company’s board of directors alongside Michael Brown, a new board observer. “As hotel and other hospitality property owners look to address the challenge of competition from peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb, Mews provides hoteliers with the tools to not have to worry about the day-to-day of running the business and instead focus on improving guest experience and helping travelers have the trip of a lifetime. Mews’ technology allows hotels to innovate on today’s guest experience, including the ability to offer subscription plans or [design] specific hours of stay for their properties.”