HotelTonight -- today hotel rooms, tomorrow plane tickets?
HotelTonight, the mobile app for last minute hotel bookings, just lined up $45 million in funding, led by investment firm Coatue Management.
That’s a big investment for a relatively small company – there are 6.5 million people who have the app, which lets them book hotel rooms at the last minute. Spread across 12 countries and 120 cities, that’s not an overwhelming number.
Still, HotelTonight is showing that the on-demand economy, proved out by car services like Uber that let you use a mobile app to order a ride, can work in categories beyond cars. If the new funding helps it really take off, it might be in the position to try out new categories.
The company said it will use the investment to add new cities in the U.S. and around the world. If that expansion helps it succeed in significantly boosting its customer base, HotelTonight might be in the position to try offering last minute airfare and car rentals.
HotelTonight’s CEO didn’t rule out the idea in an interview with Business Insider. While he said the company is focused for now on “shelter,” Sam Shank said that there are a lot of ways the company could expand and contends that HotelTonight has the experience in working with customers who are looking for on-demand services to pull it off.
It’s this potential expansion that is most interesting. How many times a year do you need a last minute hotel booking? For most people, not many. But if you could book a whole last minute package, including hotel, airfare, and car rental, HotelTonight might open up its user base to new customers, like those booking a last minute trip for a meeting or conference.
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