Accel Partners are putting their money behind a price optimization SAAS for the hospitality industry, which uses big data to automatically adjust the prices of hotel rooms according to factors such as weather, events, or fluctuations in web traffic. The hospitality industry is a challenging field for such ventures, but with the revenue manager of Wynn Hotel Las Vegas and the former CTO of Salesforce as its founders, the venture is off to a promising start.
With an algorithm that works through big data directly connected to the pricing system, Duetto offers a solution that also leaves room for personal specifications made by the hotels’ revenue managers. Prices vary according to the quality and size of the hotel. As the program is continually updates room prices according to demand, it can not only help hotels to generate more revenue but also offer better prices to guests, for example if rooms are available last minute. In addition, hotels can save the money they usually pay to other companies on Accel Partners’ portfolio, such as Kayak or HotelTonight, by using this in-house solution.
In order to beat competition such as domestic systems in big hotel chains or older companies like IDeaS and Rainmaker, Duetto has to rely on technological excellence and industry contacts. Craig Weissman, co-founder of Salesforce, will be responsible for the technical side, demonstrating that Duetto actually creates additional revenue for its clients, while Patrick Boswoth and Marco Benvenuti, former revenue managers of the Las Vegas Wynn hotel will be active on the industry side of this venture. Investors of Accel include Leland Pillsbury, Co-Chairman of Battery Ventures, Altimeter Capital, Co-Chairman as well as CEO of Thayer Lodging and Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff. With funds of $33.2 million, the company plans to hire more engineers and target small hotel chains, 20 chains are already using the system at this point. Launched in 2012, the company aims to also attract the attention of bigger chains like Marriott or Starwood as time proceeds.
If this endeavour proves to be successful, more industries might hop onto the big data train. Specialised solutions for pharmaceutical, travel and retail companies are in need for updated systems that offer cloud-based to noticeably improve their financial success.
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(image credit: William Warby)
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