Skift Take

Mews completed one of at least four travel tech acquisitions this month.

Mews, the property management system startup that raised $185 million late last year, is upping its focus on helping hotels implement next-generation personalization and AI. 

Most of the past six acquisitions by Mews have been other startup property management systems, most recently Hotello. But the acquisition of Nomi announced earlier this month was done to help clients lay the groundwork needed for personalization, according to Mews founder Richard Valtr, which then makes it easier to adopt the latest advancements in artificial intelligence. 

Nashville-based Nomi is meant to help hotels deliver personalized recommendations based on data that guests provide about needs and interests. The product is now offered to Mews hotel clients, and there’s a team focused on improving those types of products. 

“Up until now, the strategy has mainly been looking at [property management systems] acquisitions to further the idea that we’re the roll up of choice for other PMS companies and other PMS founders to come and join the team,” Valtr said.

“Especially in the age of AI, the idea of personalizing the guests stays and being able to actually offer tools which can give greater segmentation, greater ways of identifying those customers — creating those golden profiles which sit above an entire group or chain of properties. Those are the types of things that I think we’re really, really passionate about building.” 

The idea of hyper-personalization has gotten a lot more attention since the release of the first generative AI technology late last year. But without a large swath of customer data as a base, it’s impossible for AI to do anything more specific than make general recommendations. So while the industry is waiting for the generative AI tech to improve, Mews and others are laying some of the groundwork needed to ensure that the technology can be useful at all. 

Mews has had a guest-facing product, namely online check-in and check-out, and this is a way to expand what hotels can offer guests directly through Mews. 

If the hotel can keep a profile on customers that includes their reason for staying and interests, then the hotel will have better information they can use to make specific recommendations, such as for activities and restaurants.

“We need to have some link to make it really, really easy for the property or for the brand to be able to actually play a role in that full 24-hour experience,” Valtr said. “We basically wanted to create something around that for a really, really long time. 

He referenced the deal as an acqui-hire, meaning it was made primarily for the team, he said. Nomi co-founder Tim Drisdelle, a former Apple engineer who worked on Siri and Apple retail payments, now leads the guest experience engineering team at Mews. 

Other Recent Travel Tech Acquisitions

  • MDO, a hotel data analysis platform based in Atlanta, acquired a similar company based in Utah called HelloGM. The companies help hotels digitally view and understand business and financial data about multiple properties, meant to automate previously manual back-office tasks. Terms were not disclosed. 
  • Investment firm Capza has acquired a minority stake in Paris-based Travelsoft, a group that owns three companies related to travel booking. CEO Christian Sabbagh maintains over 70% ownership, highlighting his commitment to growth and innovation.
  • Venture capital firm Montana World Investments Consortium has acquired Attraction World Group, which provides booking software for tourist attraction companies. The transaction was backed by Highmore Group and other investors.

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Tags: artificial intelligence, hotel tech, mergers and acquisitions, mews

Photo credit: Mews completed one of at least four travel tech acquisitions this month. Rodrigo Salomón Cañas / Pixabay

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