Skift Take

As with Cendyn and Guestfolio, further consolidation is likely in the hotel marketing and loyalty sector as the number of competitors proliferate and the opportunities grow.

Two-decade old Cendyn took on a minority investment from a private equity firm earlier this year to spearhead growth and today the hotel- and meetings-marketing company announced an acquisition of Guestfolio to round out Cendyn’s offerings for boutique hotels.

Cendyn, privately held and based in Boca Raton, Florida, offers cloud-based software solutions for hotels and the meetings industry, with clients including AMResorts, Loews Hotels, The Standard hotels, Rosewood Hotels, and Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

The acquisition of Whistler, British Columbia-headquartered Guestfolio will enable Cendyn to offer a more comprehensive feature set on the hotel-marketing side of the business as Guestfolio is stronger in the boutique hotel segment, says Tim Sullivan, Cendyn’s chief sales and marketing officer.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Sullivan says it was a “multi-million dollar” transaction. Sullivan wouldn’t detail the companies’ sales figures but says both companies are growing revenue about 40 percent year over year.

Accel-KKR, a private equity firm, took a minority stake in Cendyn in May when the hotel marketer realized it would need more capital to address expansion in Europe and Asia and increase profitability as it coped with a growing list of competitors, Sullivan says.

Identifying Growth

The acquisition of Guestfolio, which Sullivan says has about 1,000 boutique and independent hotel clients for its Software as a Service solutions (SaaS), was Cendyn’s first in recent years on the hotel side of the business, although it has made a couple on the events side of its portfolio over the past couple of years.

Cendyn officials met with Guestfolio CEO Duane Hepditch in June at a hotel industry conference and “through our conversations” decided that the two companies’ interests were aligned, Sullivan says. Like Cendyn had done, Guestfolio had been considering funding or an acquisition, he adds.

Sullivan says Cendyn sees Asia as among its biggest growth opportunities.

“Asia is such a massive market that you need some dollars to go after it,” Sullivan says.

The hotel tech marketplace has become more competitive in recent years as rivals, including large players such as Oracle, Salesforce and TravelClick, among others, proliferate. “There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace,” Sullivan says. “You need to have the messaging and awareness.”

Among Cendyn’s enterprise clients at Hyatt Hotels, which used Cendyn’s eConcierge product to manage the guest experience from multiple device types, and Red Lion, which uses Cendyn for customer relationship management/loyalty solutions.

Sullivan says Guestfolio’s products, which come at a “slightly lower price point” than Cendyn’s will be offered alongside Cendyn’s enterprise solutions and will, to some extent, fill Cendyn’s product gap.


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Tags: cendyn, cloud, CRM, hotels, marketing

Photo credit: Promotional image from Cendyn. The company revealed today that it purchased the hotel digital marketer Guestfolio. Michael J. Bennett / Cendyn

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