Hotel revenue management remains a complex challenge for hotel brands, and a variety of software-as-a-service companies have stepped up with more user-friendly and powerful solutions.
Duetto has raised $80 million in Series D financing in a round led by Warburg Pincus, bringing Duetto’s total funding to $143.2 million since its founding in 2012. Duetto has developed a suite of products on its platform offering revenue management, online marketing, merchandizing, and data-based analysis for hotel revenue managers and marketers.
“In travel, you still have this dynamic where the customer does not trust the website,” said Marco Benvenuti, co-founder and chief marketing and strategy officer of Duetto. “The simple thing with modern e-commerce is to bring a price specific to the customer, display it right away, and have them book it with one click.”
Duetto has plenty of competition in the revenue management software sector, particularly from companies like IDeaS and Rainmaker Group, which last year sold off a portion of its holdings to better focus on the revenue management market. There’s also competition from the established global distribution system companies, which sell hotels access to similar tools.
Duetto has more than 2,500 hotel and casino clients around the world, and plans to use its new funding to continue to improve its existing products. Marketing and customer service will take on a new importance as the company plans to scale its platform around the world and take on larger hotel chains in diverse markets. It already has deals with NH Hotel Group and Melia Hotels in Europe, while its biggest client in the U.S. is Red Lion Hotels Corp.
“The number one investment is going to be research and development,” said Benvenuti. “We don’t want to fall into the trap that others have where you divert money to new products and forget about your current products and customers.”
Beyond just rates, Duetto wants to own revenue strategy in all its phases for hotel revenue managers. Its marketing product PlayMaker, for instance, can push accurate rates in social networking ads in a way others can’t.
“In the end, if you read any investor report or ask a hotel CEO what their number one concern is, it’s getting more business from [online travel agencies] to their direct channel,” said Benvenuti. “Now we can go to them and say here is the real tangible solution to give people a real reason to book direct.”