Mews earmarks $185 million for its SaaS hotel management platform • TechCrunch

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought travel and tourism to a halt, but as these sectors pick up speed, so do the most promising startups to raise funds to keep pace. Today, a startup called Alley – which provides a cloud-based hotel property management platform with tools covering reservations, payments, and more.

Co-led by Kinnevik and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Growth Equity business, the round also included new backers Revaia, Derive Ventures and Orbit Capital; as well as previous investors Battery Ventures, Notion Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Thayer Ventures and henQ. The increase is mostly equity with a small amount of debt, founder and chairman Richard Valtr said in an interview. Columbia Lake Partners provides the debt.

Mews are streets (e.g. in London) full of small houses or flats usually converted from stables to larger houses nearby. Ironically, however, Mews the startup isn’t all that small. The year travel ‘come back’ after the peak of Covid and the various restrictions on people moving around, Mews saw revenue increase by 174%, with gross payment volume during the period up by 227% and now stands at $2.3 billion. It has customers in 70 countries, 3,253 hotels in total.

Its customers include large chains ranging from five-star to the most basic accommodation, including Accor and the Youth Hostel Association, as well as a number of smaller groups and independent hoteliers, all of which look to Mews for specific tools to manage reservations. , payments, guest services, analytics, shifts for hotel employees, as well as a 600-app marketplace allowing users to create one-stop-shop dashboards that integrate a number of “Other applications a hotel might use in its operations (eg accounting, sales software or CRM), much like a Toast or a Shopify for the hospitality industry, Valtr said.

It’s also, these days, what drives the company to work with other types of property management groups looking to provide residents or visitors with hotel-like services – the Airbnb effect on how which we live, or might want to live, these days.

“We see ourselves as the platform on which businesses in our industry are run,” he said. “We are taking a broad approach with our ambitions. Alley theoretically deals with hotels and hospitality, but it could be hostels or Airbnbs or services for people in mixed-use real estate. Longer term, we believe that what is considered commercial or residential blends in. This is the direction all real estate is going. What’s happening after the pandemic is more people realizing that they want to experience more of their travel life more often. »

The last time Mews raised funds was in 2019, a $33 million tower which it raised in part to refocus on product work and developing its technology to differentiate itself from other property management software players in the market. It turned out to be a fortuitous change, Valtr said: When the pandemic hit, the company was headlong into its own internal transformation, emerging just as hotels were also looking to invest in better, newer systems. during their own downtime. It may well be a sugar-coated twist on a period that was virtually dead for the travel and tourism industry, but ultimately the growth that Mews has seen more recently is a testament to its current momentum.

This latest funding will be used for, essentially, more of the same: more technology investments and to expand globally, with some optional mergers and acquisitions as well.

“Richard, [CEO] Matthijs Walle and the wider Mews team have an intimate understanding of hoteliers’ needs and have taken a product-driven approach to developing a modern solution in an industry ripe for disruption,” said Akhil Chainwala, Chief Investment Officer at Kinnevik , in a press release. As cloud adoption in hospitality accelerates due to more complex guest needs and rising costs, Mews is uniquely positioned to rebuild the industry’s digital plumbing. We are delighted to welcome a fourth travel investment to our portfolio and look forward to supporting Mews on the next phase of its journey.

What’s surprising is not so much that Mews is seeing an increase in business, but that investors are easily supporting it right now, given how tough it’s been for other sectors, and given the Current investment climate and contraction especially in the hospitality industry.

“The closing of a major funding round in this environment is a testament to Mews’ tremendous growth and future potential,” Kirk Lepke, managing director of the Growth Equity practice at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said in a statement. communicated. “Hoteliers have encountered many challenges over the past few years, resulting in increased demand for cloud-native platforms, such as Mews, to help them modernize, improve guest experience and create revenue gains. efficiency through intelligent automation. With its open architecture and fully integrated payment capabilities, Mews is widely used as a mission-critical solution.”

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