The startup has so far launched in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and allows people who want to avoid a cancellation fee from their hotel to advertise their rooms to last-minute bookers and impulse buyers. It’s kind of like HotelTonight but with deals offered by customers rather than hoteliers, and it could prove particularly popular at times of high demand. That said, Roomer’s geographic reach is limited at present, opening it up to the threat of clones in other parts of the world.
The hotel industry is undergoing plenty of disruption of late. From Airbnb and its many clones/rivals to more technology-driven innovations like the approach taken by DealAngel, the data-driven startup we covered yesterday. Roomer is not actually the first to try this ‘secondary market’ approach; Barcelona-based HallSt offers a similar service, but Roomer is far simpler in that there’s no haggling over price – just a straightforward ‘book now’ button.
CEO and founder Gon Ben-David says that Roomer wants its service to be safe and curated to make things easy for both the seller and the buyer. The startup validates and verifies every listing in the marketplace, and listings are automatically generated, meaning that people listing a room simply have to set a price and they’re away, with photos, maps and the like added with a click.
Roomer launched in beta last month and counts Uri Levine, co-founder and President of Waze, as a director and adviser. This is the startup’s first funding round.
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