Paris startup Pricematch announced this week that they have raised a €1 Million seed round from Partech (their new seed fund, Partech Entrepreneur) as well as Silicon Valley fund Tekton Ventures, which previously invested in the seed round of startups like ifeelgoods & Betable. Founded in 2012 by Arthur Waller, Tancrède Besnard, Khalid EL Guitti, Quentin de Metz & Raphael Theron, Pricematch is a SaaS Yield Management platform, meaning that the service dynamically changes pricing for hotel rooms based on supply & demand.
To date, the team counts over 200 clients with roughly 7000 rooms, which it owes to its simple on-boarding process (there is a free service for tracking competitors, and a paying service starting at $10/room/month). Under the hood, the three founders, all graduates of top French engineering school Polytechnique, boast a complex yield management algorithm.
Head of Business Development Aimé Dushimire says that, while there are competitors out there, including incumbent giant ideas (acquired by SAS in 2008) and well-funded startup Duetto Research, which raised two rounds totalling $12.2 Million in 2012 (source: crunchbase), Pricematch is confident that they have an edge over the competition in the European market, and says that they haven’t ruled out the US Market just yet, having hired someone earlier this year to explore opportunities stateside.
The new funding will, of course, go primarily to product & sales; the team plans on opening up an office in Rome next month, with another office to open in London in early 2014. Dushimire says that, while, in the US, 70% of hotels are run by chains vs. 30% by independent owners, those numbers are quite the opposite in Europe, and the needs of large hotel chains (satisfied by players like Ideas today) are not the same as a small boutique hotel.
Pricematch’s tool hopes to keep independent boutique hotels in business by offering the ability to adjust prices of various rooms dynamically – a service usually managed by full-time employees in large chains like Accor – in order to stay competitive, fill more rooms, and ultimately, make more revenue.