Skift Take

We don't know the terms of the transaction. Still, messaging, mobile and review analytics all make for a nice concoction and the two companies will likely be better for the mixture.

Review analytics and reputation-management company TrustYou has acquired guest- and hotel-messaging platform Checkmate as a means for hotels to head off subpar guest experiences before they happen.

Ellis Connolly, chief revenue officer for TrustYou, which has offices in Munich; Carlsbad California, and Singapore, said the company acquired the technology and intellectual property of Checkmate, which is based in San Francisco and is a unit of Room77, last week.

Connolly declined to discuss the financial aspects of the deal. He said Checkmate CEO Drew Patterson will not transition to TrustYou although an unspecified number of employees will.

Asked about the scope of the deal, Connolly said: “We are a smaller company. For us it was a healthy acquisition.”

Checkmate enables guests to communicate with the hotel via mobile devices during various stages of their stay and routes the messages to the appropriate teams at the property to take action or otherwise reply.

Connolly said TrustYou competes in both the hotel-review analytics and guest-feedback sectors and decided it should round out its guest-communications products by acquiring Checkmate. He added that TrustYou knew it had to start paying additional attention to mobile as it relates to guest feedback and engagement, and opted to acquire Checkmate, which favors the mobile Web over apps.

Patterson of Checkmate said the two companies started talking about applying TrustYou’s review-parsing tools to Checkmate’s messaging activities. “Discussions grew from there as they saw the opportunity in messaging and it turned into an acquisition,” Patterson said.

TrustYou was founded in 2008 in Munich and raised $5 million in a Series A round from Omnes Capital in 2011, according to Crunchbase.

Patterson’s Checkmate was acquired by hotel-metasearch site Room77 when Room77 hired Patterson as CEO in 2013. When Room77’s consumer operations wound down in 2014 and Google hired many of its employees, Checkmate and its mobile-messaging platform for hotels became Room77’s focus.

Room77, founded in 2010, had raised nearly $44 million in funding, including a $30 million round led by Expedia. In Expedia’s annual 10-K report, published in February 2016, Expedia revealed it still had a 6.1 percent stake in Room77. Room77’s main activity these days is trying to license its room-specific booking technology to third parties. Patterson said there is “good interest” in that licensing proposition.

Connolly of TrustYou said the company will operate Checkmate as a separate unit for now until TrustYou can “bake the messaging product into ours. It’s a decent-sized project.”

Checkmate says it has around 200 clients — mostly independent hotels — and among the largest is Commune Hotels & Resorts, which manages more than 45 properties. Other clients include Opus Hotel Vancouver and Travel Agency.


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Tags: checkmate, mobile, room 77, trustyou, ugc

Photo credit: Checkmate integrated into a hotel app. PlaceIt by Breezi

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