HotelTonight is more likely to get acquired than to do a successful IPO given the company's relatively small size. The app is exquisite but competition by bigger players is intense.
Kayak apparently got cute in trying to use the phrase "Hotel for tonight" in its apps and it appears as though HotelTonight prevailed in a trademark flap. Now they've partnered up as HotelTonight is selling through Kayak in a bid to trim costs.
25 Moments that Mattered in 2015: To make our selection of 25 moments, we thought back to the stories that drove reader engagement and sparked discussion among both travel experts and the general public. Some stories were quick blips that represented bigger things while others were narratives that built slowly through out the year. Each one, though, spoke to where we are right now when it comes to the big business of global travel.
Given the headlines, while Rome2Rio, Captain Train and Loco2 are trying to get the message out that they are just as hot as travel-startup peer GoEuro, in contrast Hot Hotels is getting the word out that it will avoid some of the business model pitfalls of HotelTonight.
The rest of the travel industry -- or at least the big players that matter -- have caught up to HotelTonight, the first mover in the same-day mobile hotel-booking space. Heavily funded, HotelTonight is seeking an exit that makes its investors whole.
As we've said before, HotelTonight was facing tough challenges from hotel brands and better funded online booking sites that have their own design on the last-minute booking space.
As competitors close in and some do heavy TV advertising, HotelTonight states that it is doing "hundreds of millions of dollars" annually in gross bookings and that it has grown 100 percent per year over the last two years. This will continue to be an interesting skirmish between a well-funded startup focusing on last-minute versus larger players that can offer more wide-ranging solutions for hotels.
This app is obviously only for married couples celebrating their 25th wedding anniversaries or higher. Know what we mean?
Focus, such as Booking.com's sole attention to lodging, has frequently been a winner in online travel. Booking Now's focus on last-minute bookings, instead of trying to be all things to all people in a multipurpose app, may produce substantial gains.
It's no longer enough for a travel brand to have an app and hope that convenience alone will lead to a booking. By not needing to input a credit card number to make a transaction, the freedom to make that last-minute booking just got expanded.