Home Hotel Connect Hotelzify piloting hotels into a new era of autonomy

Hotelzify piloting hotels into a new era of autonomy

Anirudh Ganesh, Co-founder & CEO, Unnikrishnan, Co-founder & CTO
Anirudh Ganesh, Co-founder & CEO, Unnikrishnan, Co-founder & CTO

 Hotelzify is a self-serve website development and booking management platform for hotels and resorts. The platform empowers independent property owners to achieve greater productivity and success, fully leveraging their potential, optimising processes, and harnessing the power of their existing tools. Anirudh Ganesh, Co-founder and CEO, Hotelzify, calls upon hotels, resorts, and homestays to look beyond the intermediaries and embrace a new era of autonomy with Hotelzify as their invaluable partner.

– Prashant Nayak

Hotelzify aims to empower short-term rental accommodations and hotels to get more direct bookings to increase margins and gain visibility via Google Hotel Ads. It has established partnerships with over 700 plus hotels and resort properties in India, delivering significant value to its businesses within a short span of time, and intends to grow its reach significantly in the coming years.

Speaking about the inspiration behind establishing Hotelzify, Anirudh said, “My work schedule led me to travel extensively, where I chanced to interact with hoteliers in Indian cities and Southeast Asia. Post this, during COVID, we had a work-from-home model, so I backpacked across Himachal, Ladakh, and Northeast (Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland, and Arunachal), where I interacted with a lot of vacation rental owners aspiring to build a digital presence. This recurring request became the genesis for Unnikrishnan CJ, my co-founder, and me to build Hotelzify.”

Hotelzify currently offers a freemium model where properties pay a commission ranging from 2.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent depending on the source of booking. They also have a monthly fixed fee model, which provides additional features like a website domain, custom themes, and a chatbot on the website.

Hotelzify’s primary focus is on accelerating market entry processes while minimising costs by eliminating the reliance on OTAs and reducing high commissions. Elaborating on the advantages of Hotelzify over OTAs, Anirudh shares, “Our belief is that as a property, you present the end product to the guest, and in this case, it is the room and experience that is provided. OTA’s distinct advantage is with regards to their technology, better website, ad tech, and data. With our strength in technology and the advent of AI, a lot of this can be built and handed to hotels to operate smoothly. Our goal is to be able to provide a hotel with OTA equivalent technology while they continue to do what they do best viz provide great guest experiences while in turn increasing their profits.”

There are a lot of tech products to digitise operational activities, but Anirudh is of the opinion that democratising deep tech directly in the hand of hoteliers and property owners should be the next big step in the process. Examples of deep tech are website performance, retargeting past guests, and much more optimised ad tech. For example, Google Hotel Ads are currently used predominantly by only the big OTAs and big hotel chains, but over 90 per cent of hotels do not run them.

Most of the clients who come to them face two major challenges, the first being the commission percentages bleeding their business, which Hotelzify addresses by building a direct booking channel to reduce dependency on OTAs. The other issue to be noted is the lack of visibility and awareness of their property. For this, Hotelzify has a self-serve tool where any property can run Google Hotel Ads directly from the Hotelzify app, which is different from Google Ads (as hotel ads are built by Google for the industry). Here, their AI-based ad engine optimises the hotel’s ad performance so that they can focus on providing the best possible experience to their guests.

Hotelzify recently raised a round of seed funding led by TBO and All In Capital as their lead investors, showcasing confidence in the product. They also have Abhinav Pathak’s angel group, GTM ventures led by Revant Bhate (CEO of ManMatters and Bodywise) and DeVC (a fund backed by Matrix founders) to close the round.

Sharing their growth plans, Anirudh mentions, “The funds will primarily be used to build our product, including a Google Hotel Ad engine with AI-based pricing, a customisable marketplace module for hoteliers, and expanding our engineering team. Additionally, we will run sales experiments in emerging tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.”

Apart from focusing on ad tech, Hotelzify is building a marketplace where hoteliers can purchase different software like channel manager, review manager, custom themes built by freelance developers, guest engagement tools like e-check-in, etc. “All these software would be integrated into the Hotelzify platform so that they do not need to re-register or fill data in two places while it would provide an acquisition avenue for hotel tech software providers,” concludes Anirudh.