Skift Take

This deal reflects a broader trend of hotel operators and owners seeking tools to analyze their data. The old way of using a mess of spreadsheets became unmanageable during the labor crunch.

OTA Insight, a London-based startup that helps hotels track rivals’ rates, said on Wednesday it’s had acquired Dallas-based Kriya RevGen, which gathers business intelligence across multiple properties.

The companies didn’t disclose the merger terms but said they had already closed the deal within regulatory rules.

“Kriya is a fast-growth software company that supports hotel chains and management companies,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of OTA Insight. “It consolidates reservation and related data across portfolios for decisionmaking.”

OTA Insight received $80 million in backing from private equity firm Spectrum late last year with an objective of doing targeted, tuck-in mergers and acquisitions. Kriya, based in Grapevine, Texas, has been bootstrapped since its founding in 2013.

Hotels Get Tableau-Style Analytics

Companies can use Kriya’s tools to make decisions on things such as rate-setting depending on supply-and-demand trends in specific geographic markets.

For instance, Gaurav Sharma, executive vice president for revenue distribution at EOS Hospitality, said he used Kriya because of “its ability to deploy complex metrics in a fashion that complements multi-tier commercial needs.”

Different properties, sometimes acquired in a patchwork, may use disparate reporting systems. Revenue managers and partners tend to have to collect and build a set of spreadsheets, which can be tough to reconcile quickly.

OTA Insight plans to supplement the data Kriya accesses with market-level and traveler-intent data from its flagship products, including eventually adding data on the performance of short-term rentals as a complementary market.

Some other companies have attempted to provide benchmarking data in various ways. One early analytics dashboard player, Snapshot, was ahead of its time and fizzled out after its acquisition by Shiji Group.

There are fewer people to analyze data than there were pre-pandemic. An exodus of talent from the hotel industry among people managing commercial strategy has led to a change where management companies and investors need efficiencies in overseeing their assets.

“There’s a shift away from homegrown systems largely based on Excel,” Fitzpatrick said. “But the shift is more fundamental than that. Up and down the scale, hotel brands and companies are changing their tech stacks. When you multiply the changes across a portfolio, it gets complicated to aggregate and normalize data and then pinpoint the most actionable insights from it.”

Many technology systems have also adopted new processes that make it easier to share data, compared with five years ago. Companies like OTA Insight can now connect to a range of data sources for live feeds in a way they once couldn’t easily.

The rise of data visualization companies such as Tableau has heightened commercial interest in visual tools to present information. Upstart vendors are offering a streamlined set of dashboards, with key numbers and recommendations highlighted. Online tools can pull data together, clean it by removing duplications and errors, and present the results with charts and graphs.

“The rise of cloud-based services means that the setup, training, and support is baked into the product, unlike the legacy approach,” Fitzpatrick said. “When it comes to setting up property portfolios, we can start with one hotel and, if the client wants, expand to 500 in a matter of hours, rather than a heavy implementation over months.”

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Tags: data, data analytics, future of lodging, mergers and acquisitions, ota insight, reservation systems, reservations, revenue management, startups, travel tech, travel technology

Photo credit: A pool a the L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, part of the portfolio run by EOS Hospitality, which uses tech vendors OTA Insight and Kriya Revgen. Source: L'Ermitage Beverly Hills.

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