Founded by Nicolas Salin, VeryLastRoom announced last week a seed round of funding of 400,000€ in order to spread VeryLastRoom to every city, town & village in France. The service offers users the ability to choose between 50-60 hotels in a given city for a last-minute reservation, taking advantage of a hotel’s leftover rooms, as well as the rising desire for last-minute travel, made possible by web and mobile applications offering last-minute travel discounts. To incite users, VeryLastRoom starts each day at noon with a price on each room, and prices drop .01€ at a time, meaning the longer a user waits, the cheaper the room is; however, since there is a limited supply of rooms, the Vente Privée style flash-sale mentality is used to incite purchase.
VeryLastRoom counts today over 450 hotels on its service each day in France – founder Nicolas Salin laughed that, among competitors, they have the highest ration of funding to hotels offered, a reference to their American competitor, HotelTonight, who launched in France recently during its European expansion. Of course, there is a certain advantage to being local when dealing with local deals – daily deals sites like Groupon (who purchased their German equivalent CityDeals) and LivingSocial (who purchased their French equivalent Dealissime) are examples of the necessity for a local skill set.
With this round of funding, VeryLastRoom hopes to bring its popular iPhone application to Android, as well as keep on-boarding hotels and users to the service.
While Salin chooses to distinguish himself from his competitors – the aforementioned HotelTonight, Justbook ou Blink – through their different product features (descending price tags, quantity of rooms available per day, etc.) – I think the most interesting one is his nationality. He is building a French service for French travelers in France, and that might just give him a leg up on the competition – in France at least. It seems that Salin does not have grand ambitions of building VeryLastRoom out across the globe – despite the company’s distinctly unfrench name – that may be a result of being beaten to other markets, or it may be a result of the hotelier market size in France, whose capital is still the most visited city in the world.
You can download VeryLastRoom on iPhone here