H2O Hospitality secures $30M Series C to expedite hotel digital transformation –

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The pandemic has created a demand for contactless and staffless operations in the hospitality sector. H2O hospitalityThe unmanned hotel management company, has finished a $ 30 million round against the backdrop of its boost. South Korean and Japanese-based startups will continue to use their money to automate front-end and back-end processes such as accommodation reservations, room management, and front desk operations.

Series C round (equivalent to about 34 billion won) Cacao investment In addition, Korea Development Bank (KDB), Gorilla Private Equity, Intervest, and NICE Investment also participated. The Southeast Asian co-fund Kejora-Intervest Growth Fund also participated in the round, demonstrating that H2O hospitality will focus specifically on the Southeast Asian market. H2O Hospitality raised $ 7 million in Series B rounds from Samsung Ventures, Stonebridge Ventures, IMM Investment and Shinhan Capital in February 2020.

H2O Hospitality further expanded its business by adding different types of accommodation to South Korea and Japan in 2021 and 2022, co-founder and CEO of H2O Hospitality John Lee.

“H2O Hospitality is currently in talks with several global hotel chains to partner with digital transformation and operations outside of Korea and Japan,” Lee told TechCrunch.

H2O will invest in research and development to advance customer channel solutions and contactless check-in systems to meet customer needs in Asian countries, Lee continues.

“Successful digital transformation of hotels after COVID-19 requires optimal system development and customization for each accommodation and situation,” Lee said in an email interview.

H2O Hospitality was founded in South Korea in 2015 by CEO John Lee. For example, in 2017 we acquired a Japanese hospitality management company and entered Japan. In 2021, H2O acquired two Korean companies, including contactless hotel solutions company ImGATE and local creator startup Replace, to enhance its technology and ESG capabilities.

Currently, the company operates approximately 7,500 accommodations, including hotels, inns and guesthouses, in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Busan and Bangkok.

H2O Hospitality’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) -based hotel management system enables automation and digitization of hotel management, channel management system (CMS), asset management system (PMS), room management system (RMS), and facilities. Includes management. System (FMS).

According to the statement, the integrated hotel management system can reduce the fixed operating costs of hotel management by 50% while increasing revenue by up to 20%.

“COVID-19 has hit the hospitality industry the hardest. Most hotels wanted to lower their fixed cost levels, which wasn’t possible with the current operational flow,” continues Lee.

When asked how the pandemic affected H2O, as COVID-19 still freezes most of the tourism industry, Lee said that H2O’s revenue increased by as much as 30% before the pandemic. He said the percentage dropped to 5-15% after COVID. 19. Today’s revenue drivers are based on tools built to improve customer efficiency. It includes automated pricing (ADR) tools and a variety of sales channels, including domestic and international online and offline travel agencies, he said.

Lee also noted that H2O has onboarded many properties, which has also contributed to H2O’s revenue growth over the last 18 months. He explained that H2O is the only company in Asia and many real estate owners have begun to participate since August 2020.

“All the hotels we boarded during the pandemic have turned around the income statement and have begun to recover their financial losses,” said Lee.

According to Lee, there are currently about 16.4 million hotel rooms worldwide, generating $ 570 billion annually. H2O can digitize all accommodations around the world, as the company’s main goal is not to build a hotel brand, but to enable hotel owners to operate their hotels better. I think.

Lee explained that the current hotel management process is very similar to the “2G phone” that was in the stage before the transition to smartphones, and H2O is turning the entire hotel management into “smartphones”. ..

“This is a very natural transition for the (hospitality) industry, as it was natural for mobile phone users to move from 2G phones to smartphones,” Lee said.

Unfortunately, the cross-border inbound tourism market is still stalled in both South Korea and Japan, even though the domestic market is still boosting market demand, Lee said.

“We believe that the inbound tourism market will recover within a year as vaccinations in both countries (Korea and Japan) increase,” said Lee.

Jun-seok Kang, managing director of the Kejora-Intervest Growth Fund, told TechCrunch: However, COVID-19 definitely hastened the transition period and believes that H2O will thrive in the changing hotel market. “

H2O Hospitality secures $30M Series C to expedite hotel digital transformation – TechCrunch Source link H2O Hospitality secures $30M Series C to expedite hotel digital transformation – TechCrunch

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