Investors used to be skittish about hospitality-tech startups. But this week's multi-million dollar investment rounds in Keypr, Pillow, and Cloudbeds suggest that the lodging software sector is maturing and isn't just about hotels anymore.
The 50-person, Los Angeles-based company had previously raised a $1.3 million in a seed round.
A focus for the company is moving from text-based to voice-based functionality and to expand from hotels to casinos and residential clients.
The company has partnerships with Denihan Hospitality, Proper Hospitality, L.E. Hotels and Greystone Hotels, among others. In June, the Keypr platform began deployments in casinos, starting with Odawa Casino Resort and Lac Vieux Desert.
Keypr services for hotels today include a white-label mobile app, keyless entry via the app, in-room tablets that enable the online ordering of hotel and third-party services, and a back-office software that centralizes the collected information collected so that relevant parts of hotel operations can receive communications from or information about guests.
>>Pillow, a property management services firm, is shifting its emphasis from helping amateur hosts to assisting the professional owners of apartment complexes. As Skift has noted before, the vacation rental sector is becoming professionalized.
Pillow, is a San Francisco-based startup that, until now, has primarily offered property management services for short-term rentals. This week it announced it has raised $13.5 million in Series A funding, led by venture capital firm Mayfield.
Sterling Equity, Peak Capital Partners, Expansion VC, former Wired editor Chris Anderson, wine entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, and other investors also participated in the round. The startup previously raised $2.7 million.
The company is pivoting its emphasis away from helping amateur hosts rent out their places to strangers. But it will continue to provide marketing, rate-recommendation, housekeeping, and other services to such people.
The company will instead use much of its fresh funding to launch a separate initiative, Pillow Residential — an effort to help the owners of apartment complexes tame the regulatory and monitoring headaches that happen when tenants rent out their units.
Pillow says its tools allow property owners to make sure that residents who offer their units as short-term rentals are complying with regulations, licenses, and taxes. Owners can use the software to see who is staying on their properties and to monitor resident access to background-checked housekeepers.
Owners of apartment complexes can also use Pillow to list their vacant units for short-term stays via consumer marketplaces such as Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway, and VRBO.
The company says it has 4,000 apartment units signed up for its new services in San Francisco, Oakland, Denver, Eugene, Salt Lake City, Louisville, and Albuquerque.
The startup has raised $20 million to date.
Institutional investment firm PeakSpan Capital led the Series B round. Nashville Capital, Cultivation Capital, ClearVision Equity, and TTCER Partners also participated.
Founded in 2012, Cloudbeds has 102 employees in North and South America. Its platform offers a centralized system that includes property management, channel management, and a commission-free booking engine for use on a property’s own website.
The company says it has signed up “thousands” of properties for its services.
Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here.
Photo credit: Hospitality is a way of delivering service in a variety of contexts. Startups Keypr, Pillow, and Cloudbeds all aim to provide platforms through which hospitality is delivered in a more efficient manner -- regardless of whether their clients are hotels, short-term rental owners, or apartment complex owners. Pillow