Nigeria’s SmartHotel Raises $1 Million Pre-A round to Expand its Services
The Nigerian-based startup, SmartHotel, which develops software for the hospitality industry has secured a $1 million Pre Series A round to expand its services across Africa and Europe.
The funding round was led by existing investor Smok Ventures, with support from LT Capital Ventures and Next Road Ventures. Other participants in the round include Wiktor Schmidt – co-owner of Netguru (one of the biggest software developing companies in Europe), and Mirosław Janik – former Vice President of Wincor Nixdorf Group.
the smart hotel will use the new investment to further develop its software that enables contact-free and easy communication with guests in hotels and apartments in Nigeria, Tanzania, Poland, and South Africa and expand to other parts of Africa, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
Founded in 2019 by Maciej Prostak and Damian Dabrowski, SmartHotel integrates with hotel management systems, enabling quick handling of matters related to guests’ stay on-site, thereby reducing the number of phone calls to the reception desk, simplifying procedures, and finally saving time and money of owners and managers.
The software leverages messaging channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to the guests’ telephone or email addresses with the registration card. The guest then remotely completes the requested information by the hotel on their smartphone at their convenience. This saves them the stress of queuing to check in.
Afterward, the guest selects their favorite messenger where they receive the most important information about their stay. They can order additional services or report a problem. Everything without the need to visit the front office desk or contact us by phone.
The company’s position is further strengthened by technological partnerships with hospitality giants such as Oracle and Nightsbridge.
SmartHotel’s development potential is hinged on the low digitization of hotels in emerging economies and apartments, the need to stay safe due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the dynamically growing value of the hotel services market which by 2025 will be worth over $5 trillion.
“Over the past years, we have been gathering know-how, which we now use, continuously adjusting SmartHotel to the needs of our clients. We regularly meet with the owners and managers of the facilities and together we design the product so that it meets all their needs and is adapted to each facility,” said Maciej Prostak – founder of SmartHotel.
“We want to help hotels and their guests get through the pandemic by enabling a safe stay without queuing at the front desk and waiting for service. The non-contact form of servicing guests in hotels and apartments guaranteed the highest level of security. Shortening the check-in process and enabling remote check-out and the ability to send important messages to all guests with one click – it was a bull’s eye!”
SmartHotel’s communication software for the Hospitality industry enables contactless guest stay management on 3 continents, with clients among budget hotels, big hotel chains, Holiday Resorts & Airbnb apartments. The platform works globally bringing the most fulfilling guest experience to the best tourist destinations.
“So far, no one from the hotel industry has come up with the idea of using their favorite and commonly used messengers in the world, such as WhatsApp or Messenger, in communicating with guests, especially now, when you can check in remotely and communicate using well-known messengers. This is why SmartHotel is so popular among hoteliers after the pandemic and is developing so dynamically,” comments Mirosław Janik, one of the investors.
Commenting on the latest funding, Country Manager of SmartHotel Nigeria, Kayode Oluwatuyi said “Our SmartHotel technology has been widely accepted and endorsed by Nigerian hotels because the staff does not need to physically come into contact with guests to offer services to them. The advantage here is that the hotel keeps both staff and guests safe due to the coronavirus pandemic while digitizing their services”
Kayode added that SmartHotel’s traction has been awesome so far as the firm has signed up the likes of Eko Hotel & Suites, CitiHeights, Lagos Oriental Hotel, and Sheraton among others interested in using SmartHome software.