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Lighthouse, the travel startup formerly known as OTA Insight, has bought Berlin-based HQ revenue. The deal marks another step in Lighthouse's strategy of expanding through talent and technology acquisition rather than accumulating customer lists.

Lighthouse, a startup best known for helping hotels and short-term rentals analyze their market demand, rates, and positioning, has bought HQ Revenue, the companies said on Thursday.

The companies didn’t disclose deal terms.

Lighthouse, which rebranded from OTA Insight last year, has raised over $100 million in venture funding and says it has 65,000 hoteliers as customers. HQ Revenue, based in Berlin, is a decade old and has only raised a modest amount of venture funding.

Key Purpose of This Acquisition

  • The acquisition aligns with Lighthouse’s strategy to grow its talent, rather than buy customer lists.
  • “We recognize there’s a lot of really great teams with really great technology that we can essentially bring together to help accelerate our own R&D,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of Lighthouse.
  • “This has been a target for a number of years,” said Kurien Jacob, partner and managing director for Highgate Technology Ventures (HTV). “HQ Plus has been historically very strong in the DACH region, and with this tuck-in, Lighthouse will welcome the team and their customers to a world-class team and platform and continue to grow in that region.”
  • Another example: In February, Lighthouse expanded into the independent hotel market segment by buying Stardekk.
  • “When there are high-quality businesses like HQ revenue that can help us accelerate towards that goal, we are thrilled to partner with them,” said Gaurav Tuli, a partner at investor F-Prime Capital Partners. Tuli is on the board of directors at Lighthouse.

What Lighthouse Does

“We’re probably the only startup that’s focused more on what we would call a commercial platform for different stakeholders in the hotel and short-term rental sectors,” Fitzpatrick said.

  • Lighthouse collects data on how hotels and short-term rentals are performing in a market. It feeds that data into revenue management software from providers like Cendyn, Duetto, and IDeaS and marketing automation systems.
  • Lighthouse also offers business intelligence tools for property and portfolio performance for hotel operators, management companies, and owners.
  • Lighthouse aggregates data on traveler search patterns, hotel and short-term rental rates, and other market events. It then extrapolates real-time demand forecasts and insights.
  • Last year, Lighthouse added solutions for professional short-term rental operators.

Using Generative AI

  • “A company that uses the best of GenAI for a simple, un-hyped thing is Lighthouse, which offers Smart Summaries, which is the same damned report that the revenue managers used to do [in Excel] only now it’s run by AI,” said Jacob at Skift’s Data and AI Summit in New York on June 4. (HTV is an investor.)

Skift Research subscribers can get more context by reading this month’s report, Venture Investment Trends in Travel 2024.

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Tags: generative ai, lighthouse, mergers and acquisitions, ota insight, revenue management, short-term rentals, startups, the prompt, travel startups, travel tech, vacation rental tech, vacation rentals, very online

Photo credit: Radisson Dubai DAMAC Hills is a customer of Lighthouse's commercial services. Radisson Dubai DAMAC Hills

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