The 60+ Startups Threatening to Disrupt the Big Hotel Chains


The hotel industry has undergone major shifts in the last decade thanks to tech, due to the rise of online travel reservation portals and distributed hospitality platforms, like HomeAway andAirBnB .

As smartphones bring even more people online and connectivity increases globally, these trends will continue to impact established players like Starwood, Hilton, and Marriott. We’ve previously highlighted how AirBnB, though still a private company, already has a higher valuation than many of these chains.

Recognizing the opportunity, investors have poured money into a slew of startups in home-sharing and the broader travel and hospitality sector. Travel and hospitality startups have been raising financings at record levels with $5.2B raised across 348 deals in 2015.

We used CB Insights data to highlight 62 startups threatening to peel away different niches and services currently occupied by the traditional hotel industry.

Click on the graphic to enlarge:

Unbundling the Hotel

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Hotel Booking – Startups like HotelUrbano are making it easier to find, compare, and book hotel stays. Some companies like HotelTonight provide customers with last-minute deals for unoccupied hotel rooms, while allows you to rent hotel spaces for hourly amounts as opposed to full days.
  • Alternative Lodging – One of the newest growing industries is alternative staying, allowing people to book rooms in existing apartments, vacation homes, etc. AirBnB is the most well-funded in this space.
  • Concierge Services – These are startups attending to your requests, much like a hotel concierge does for guests. Startups like Magic and Operator use a text-based interface to handle your needs, while HeadOut gives you recommendations and deals for cities you’re travelling to.
  • Events/Meetings – Hotels are common places for events to be held, but startups like eVenues are making it easy to price-compare event venues, while companies like Breather provide pay-by-the-hour temporary office spaces and meeting rooms.
  • Weddings – Many weddings utilize hotel spaces/services for their special day. These are startups that are helping people choose their venues/vendors.
  • Budget Hotel Networks – Companies like OYO Rooms and Treebo Hotels aggregate small motels and hotels, certify them for quality and standards, and market the resulting network of rooms under their own brand.

*Some companies span across multiple categories, we chose the category we felt best represented them

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About Author

Founded by two travel and technology professionals with years of experience in Asia, Representasia specialises in sales & marketing representation throughout Southeast Asia for travel/hospitality technology providers and travel-related startups, as well as providing marketing consultancy services for hotels and travel businesses in the region.

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