Bengaluru-based RoomsTonite, a mobile-only last-minute hotel booking app, secured angel funding of $1.5 million from a group of investors. The company will use these funds to further expand their services in India and other countries and to strengthen its team to complement their capabilities.
The funding was led by Lashit Sanghvi, Co-founder, Alchemy Capital; Nikhil Vora, Founder, Sixth Sense Ventures; Venkat Vardhan, Promoter, DNA Networks; Mohammed Bin Abdul Rehman Al Khalifa, Chairman, Caravan Group; and Ralph Berezan of Berezan Group of Canada invested in this round. Vissal Mathew and Balamurali Krishna of IDS Software also contributed to this round.
“While technology is at the forefront of what we do at RoomsTonite, our constant focus is to ensure that customers get the experience of real time booking at a great price,” says Suresh John, CEO and Co-founder, RoomsTonite.
He adds that on the hotels front, the platform helps sell their unsold inventory. So, hotels can earn additional revenue through RoomsTonite, and, therefore, increase their RevPAR (revenue per available room).
Founded in June 2014, the company claims to witness a massive growth from its business and user base standpoint. The company boasts over 2 lakh app downloads in a span of less than a year and a significantly high percentage of repeat users. The company has so far directly partnered with over 4000 hotels across 325 destinations in India.
According to a report released by Google, the Indian online hotel booking is going to touch the mark of $ 1.8 billion by 2016, with an estimated 8.4 million countrymen booking hotels online.
From last-minute booking to budget hotel aggregation, various platforms are using different models to grab the customer via the Internet.
Hotel chains often struggle with unoccupied inventory while customers look for last minute accommodation options at discounted rate for overnight stays. Solutions like RoomsTonite appear to be a win-win proposition for both hoteliers and guests. Based on the success of HotelTonight (US) and HotelQuickly (Hong Kong), early stage investors are anticipating a similar trend in India.
Tripadvisor, Expedia, Travelguru, and Yatra, among others, are some of the platforms which work in the last-minute hotel booking segment, with certain conditions. However, besides RoomTonite, SavvyMob is the only platform which offers only last-minute hotel booking service.
(With inputs from Jai Vardhan)