Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
Having raised over $35 million in funding, last-minute hotel booking app developer HotelTonight certainly has the means to make small, strategic technology and talent acquisitions left and right. And that’s exactly what the company is doing.
Today, HotelTonight is announcing its first acquisition since its inception in 2010, snapping up San Francisco-based PrimaTable.
Co-founded by two former Googlers, PrimaTable develops last-minute perishable inventory-demand forecasting and pricing tools for the restaurant industry.
Here’s how HotelTonight pitches the purchase of the fledgling startup:
PrimaTable built a sophisticated platform to help restaurants optimize revenue and better manage their scarce table resources. HotelTonight will be incorporating this platform into its own yield management system, presently targeted at top quality hotels.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
By adding PrimaTable’s forecasting and pricing tools, as well as reeling in its founding team, HotelTonight says it aims to build a truly real-time mobile commerce platform, riding the global smartphone boom wave.
Whether it means HotelTonight will soon branch out from hotel bookings to include restaurant reservations wasn’t explicitly mentioned by the parties involved, but it certainly seems like an obvious next move. HotelTonight said it “is poised to expand its reach in the hospitality space and beyond”.
Jamie Davidson, co-founder and CEO of PrimaTable, will join HotelTonight as VP of Product. Davidson previously worked as part of the team of quantitative experts charged with optimizing the display algorithm.
PrimaTabel’s other co-founder, Colin Zima, will join as HotelTonight’s Data Scientist. Prior to kickstarting PrimaTable with Davidson, Colin spent the last four years improving Google’s search ranking algorithms.
The entire team is making the move to HotelTonight, prompting CEO Sam Shank to comment:
“We’re thrilled to be working with PrimaTable team to continue to make booking a hotel room at the last-minute a seamless and magical process for consumers, and a windfall for hotels. When we look to acquire companies we look first and foremost at the talent.
It’s clear that we struck gold with the PrimaTable team – not only are they brilliant, they have more experience solving these problems than practically anyone else in the world.”
HotelTonight recently revamped its mobile apps for iOS and Android – which have been downloaded over 3 million times to date – and set up an office in London to attack the European market.
HotelTonight offers users a limited selection (namely three) of vetted hotel rooms at noon each day through what it calls ‘Impulse Deals’, and the new apps also sport a section where users can find custom hotel options in a variety of categories.
Worth noting: hotel rooms can be booked until 2AM.
The startup says it now offers last-minute hotel bookings in over 60 destinations in the US, UK and Canada. The company now boasts 75 employees.
Image credit: PABALLO THEKISO for AFP / Getty Images
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