Operto raises C$15.3 million to help hosts manage short-term rentals and hotels

Operto is considering international expansion and new vertical markets like hotels.

Vancouver-based hospitality software startup Operto Guest Technologies secured C$15.3 million (US$12 million) in Series A funding to fuel its geographic expansion plans and transition to serving hotels.

Founded in 2016, Operto provides property automation and IoT operating system software for the hospitality, multi-family, vacation and short-term rental industries, designed to manage the guest experience after booking.

“The real opportunity for a company to achieve massive scale in our industry is that you have to play in the hospitality space.”
-Steve Davis, Operator

To date, Operto has focused most of its efforts on smaller players in the short-term rental market in North America, such as Airbnb hosts. But amid a rebound in travel and a surge in demand for the tech from players in the hospitality industry, the startup sees a chance to bring its customer experience automation technology to consumers. hotels and to expand in Europe, Australia and Asia.

“The market has evolved so much since COVID,” Operto CEO Steve Davis told BetaKit in an interview, adding that more and more players in the hosting space are “starting to get into technological stays for customers”.

Davis added, “The real opportunity for a business to achieve massive scale in our industry is that you have to play in the hospitality space. The expertise that we’ve kind of cultivated and manifested over the last four or five years is now at the point where we can scale our technology to support larger installations.

The startup’s all-stock Series A was led by Washington-based Fuse and saw participation from Santa Barbara-based Watchfire Ventures, Vancouver-based BlackPines Capital Partners and other undisclosed investors. The new capital brings Operto’s total funding to just over C$20 million.

“The short-term rental space operated with physical keys and filing cabinets full of information,” Fuse founding partner Brendan Wales told BetaKit. “Operto is bringing everything physical into the digital age. The team is passionate about this problem and their customers are thrilled with their solutions.”

According to Wales, who is joining the startup’s board as part of this round, Operto solves “a key infrastructure problem in hospitality.”

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“While other companies in this category have chosen to create simple apps to manage customer reservations, Operto has tackled the most painful part of the customer experience, which is access to the unit. “Wales said. “To do this well, Operto has worked tirelessly to perfect the way property managers deliver and support smart locks.”

In addition to solving access issues, Operto provides property managers with a suite of tools to manage home IoT devices such as motion sensors and energy management devices.

Operto isn’t the only Canadian tech start-up trying to improve the experience of short-term rental customers: Toronto’s Enso Connect and Montreal’s Angel Host are looking to solve similar problems.

According to Davis, in the broader hospitality software landscape, what most companies have done is create a point solution that solves a single problem, while Operto builds an operating system that can work with and help manage a wide variety of other technologies and devices.

The CEO says what sets Operto apart from some of the other players in this space is its flexibility.

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“We can build a burger that looks different from the next, next, next,” Davis said. “You choose the toppings and we can make them for you. It’s our competitive gap.

Operto’s Series A follows a year of growth for the startup, which began expanding into new hosting verticals, launched new services and acquired VRScheduler, a Washington-based vacation rental software provider that has since rebranded as Operto Teams.

According to Davis, the startup saw 400% year-over-year revenue growth in 2021 as travel began to rebound, fueled in part by a surge in demand for tech solutions that enhance the experience. customer accommodation.

“As an early investor in Operto, it has been great to follow the company’s journey and tremendous growth over the past few years,” said BlackPines Capital Partners Founder and CEO Darren Huston, former CEO of Booking.com, who is also executive chairman of Operto. . “I look forward to supporting Steve and our incredible team as we pursue the next chapter of innovation and growth.”

Operto currently has over 50 employees. As it expands its overseas presence, starting with the opening of a new office in Barcelona in March, Davis said the startup plans to double its workforce over the next 12 months.

Featured image of Operto.

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