Skift Take

The consumer side of travel has recently seen a lot of change in financial technology, or "fintech." Adam Harris, the CEO of travel startup Cloudbeds, is wise to ask why there isn't more fintech for the operational side of travel.

Series: Travel Tech Briefing

Travel Tech Briefing

Editor’s Note: Exclusive reporting on technology’s impact on the travel industry, delivered every Thursday. The briefing will guide executives as they decide if their companies should “build, buy, or partner” to stay ahead.

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I listen to travel tech companies that have boosted their revenue despite the pandemic shock to the travel industry. These vendors can reveal clues about what's on the minds of travel execs shopping for tech. But to be clear: When I sum up a vendor's views and forecasts, I'm not saying they're the last word on any topic. This week, I listened closely to Cloudbeds. Cloudbeds, based in San Diego, makes software to help small hotels and alternative accommodation operators set their room rates, market their inventory online, and automate workflows, such as guest check-in.The startup grew its revenue in 2020, year-over-year. It said its revenue in the first half of 2021 exceeded its revenue in the first half of 2020.But the private company didn't release specific financial numbers. In March 2020, it announced a Series C minority investment of $82 million. That capital enabled the company to avoid laying staff off during the crisis. Since the funding round, it has spent "millions" of dollars on research and development and adding salespeople and client service staff. It has roughly 600 employees now, having added about 120 roles during the pandemic. I spoke with co-founder and CEO Adam Harris. The key concept I heard was that: "handling payments and cash flow are major pain points for hospitality operators." Some backstory, first. Today's Briefing is about the tech vendors that serve smaller hospitality operators. The current king of property management softwar