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We help hotels win back control of their descriptive content

UAE
Market: Internet and IT, Information and media, Tourism, sport
Stage of the project: Operating business

Date of last change: 09.02.2019
Min investment
$  50.000
0
Total required
$ 1.000.000
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Idea

Hotels sell rooms through booking partners, but have no straightforward way to manage the information that is displayed about their property. HDC helps hotels win back control of the descriptive content of their listings by establishing a globally consistent standard with automated distribution to all channels. We provide a central database that houses a hotel’s descriptions and photos, plus many additional data points. Hotels can simply update and publish this information to any booking site - instantly.

Current Status

HDC is live and operational. We have already successfully onboarded 10k properties. We plan to massively expand our existing distribution network (currently 1536 channels) by adding new channels, whose reputation we will also leverage to onboard more hotels by using a joint outreach. Strategic partnerships e.g. with tourism boards and hotel associations will further amplify our reach.

Market

HDC targets hospitality businesses globally. The service is perfectly suited for all kinds of hotels, ranging from small bed & breakfasts or hostels to large resorts or luxury hotels. Especially independent hotels or smaller groups, without extensive back-office support, struggle to ensure that their hotel is portrayed correctly on the many booking channels that sell their rooms.

Problem or Opportunity

Hotels sell rooms through booking partners, but have no straightforward way to manage the information that is displayed about their property. And vice versa, booking sites without direct contracts, purchasing rooms through third party vendors such as bed banks and wholesalers, have no direct access to accurate hotel data and content that goes beyond pricing and availability.

Solution (product or service)

HDC solves this problem by providing a central database that houses a hotel’s descriptions and photos, plus many additional data points.

We cover a large array of information: This includes multi-language descriptions of the hotel and its different room types, photos and many details about the hotel's rooms, services, amenities, facilities and property. HDC also lets hotels quickly circulate news or temporary changes. Basically, we cover anything a guest or a booking agent might want to know when searching for a hotel and before arriving at the destination. The comprehensive coverage makes hotels more discoverable even by small niches of guests that may have very specific requirements.

We only source information directly from the hotel. The information is stored in a standardized profile and distributed in a unified data feed. Any subsequent updates to your profile are automatically distributed through this data feed. The feed is freely accessible. Using our API, it can easily be integrated into other platforms, such as booking websites or the distribution systems of wholesalers and bedbanks.

Regardless of who accesses hotel information through HDC, they can rest assured that they're receiving first-hand information that is accurate and up to date. Even if it's a small travel agent on the other side of the world that sources room inventory (rates & availability) through a maze-like chain of resellers and has no direct contracts with any hotels: HDC ensures that they receive first-hand information and don't strew faulty or outdated information to future guests. In turn, this ensures that potential guests can make smart, well-informed booking decisions. And ultimately, the guests showing up at the front desk know what to expect and don’t face any surprises.

Competitors

Channel managers provide the industry with a solution to ensure the correct transmission of a hotel’s room inventory (rates and availability). There is high competition in this market segment with over 200 players. HDC deliberately steers away from managing a hotel’s inventory and has been approached by several channel managers seeking a partnership. There is a small chance that a channel manager might offer their clients similar content distribution services. Considering this market’s heavy fragmentation, there is no strong player who could immediately steal considerable market share from HDC.

GIATA currently offers a solution that distributes descriptive content, but charges hefty fees from its content users and will thus never be able to guarantee widespread distribution to all relevant channels. Within the industry, their content quality has a poor reputation and is not known to cover hotels accurately and comprehensively.

Leonardo and ICE Portal provide solutions for image distribution. Leonardo has to date not made any moves towards expanding their service towards descriptive content. We have been approached by ICE Portal, who also have no intent on venturing into our area of descriptive content distribution, but instead were looking to partner with us. Their image distribution solution has now been white-labeled and integrated into our content distribution service.

Advantages or differentiators

Using HDC has many benefits: We put hotels back in control, improve their reputation & increase guest satisfaction. Both hotels and guests save time. Hotels increase their discoverability and boost the conversion of listing views into bookings.

HDC works alongside existing systems which ensures a seamless booking process throughout all channels, and correctly transmit rates and availability. Whether it's a hotel booking engine, channel manager, global distribution system or other solutions tied into the booking process: HDC's content distribution can be easily integrated into all these systems.

HDC is the only database for descriptive content that is accessible for free and can put hotels back in control of their portrayal across all booking channels. This doesn’t just simultaneously solve several issues for hotels, but also provides an unrivaled depth of information to increase discoverability: With over 600 data points, booking channels can use our content to provide travelers with very specific criteria to refine the results of their hotel search. Crayon Data, for example, will source HDC database information to power the hotel recommendation engine that they are developing for Emirates Airlines.

Business model

We operate with a freemium subscription model for hotels: The Basic account is free of charge, as our goal is to provide our service even to small properties with a tight budget, such as B&Bs. The Premium account is priced economically and will easily suit any hotel's budget, allowing for a quick purchasing decision. The Enterprise account is best suited for larger resorts and luxury hotels.

Money will be spent on

Scaling of operations:
- Partnership management
- Intensified brand building
- Key account management

Team or Management

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

Winner of Intelak Incubator's 5th Cohort (starting February 2019)
Chosen for Sheraa's Series A Program (starting February 2019)

Website address

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Idea
Current Status
Market
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Solution (product or service)
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Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
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Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
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Website address