NEW YORK—Alice has secured $26 million in Series B funding from Expedia Inc., making the Bellevue, WA-based OTA a majority shareholder in the hotel operations platform company, which was founded in 2013 by Justin Effron, Alexander Shashou and Dmitry Koltunov—all of whom are C-suite executives at the company. This financing round brings Alice’s total funding to $39 million.
“We believe Expedia is the right partner to help us continue our growth and achieve our goal of delivering the very best technology and customer service in the industry,” Justin Effron, CEO of Alice, told Hotel Business. “Expedia’s $26-million investment highlights the strong relationship between the two companies and will help each company grow by better serving travelers in the highly competitive, global travel market.”
Alice is expected use the funding from this round for internal growth. “In the near term, we’re looking to build out our development, product, sales and customer success teams to help us continue our mission of delivering the very best technology and customer service in the industry,” he said.
“Expedia’s investment will allow us to explore more opportunities for collaboration as we look to further our technology offerings to hotel partners around the world,” Benoit Jolin, VP of global product at Expedia, told Hotel Business.
The hospitality technology company raised $9.5 million in Series A financing in January 2016. The round was led by Expedia with participation from several investment groups, including Laconia, 645 Ventures and Neuehouse. Alice received $3 million in seed funding from an investment group made up of Seamless co-founders Jason Finger, Todd Arky and Paul Applebaum; Tishman Realty; 645 Ventures; and the founder of Neuehouse. In June 2013, Alice received $500,000 of angel financing from a group of investors.
“We’ve admired the work of the Alice team for years, as they’ve focused on innovating on a terrific product that brings next-generation technology and problem-solving to a very traditional space to improve guest experiences on property,” Jolin said.
On acquiring additional financing, Alice’s CEO said: “Alice is very fortunate that we’re in a comfortable economic position. With the current round of funding we have a long runway with a clear path to profitability. At this time, we’re not planning nor ruling out another round of funding in the future.”
The Alice platform was designed as a one-stop shop for hotels. The platform integrates three aspects of the business (three solutions into one suite): concierge services (keeping track of guests’ needs); request management (enabling employees to communicate with each other and process tasks); and guest interaction (giving guests more ways to contact a property when they’re in need). Properties can instead select individual Alice solutions—which consist of Alice Staff, Alice Concierge and Alice Guest.
Alice has grown its customer base by nearly 200% in the last six months, according to the company. Two Roads Hospitality, Dream Hotel Group, Sixty Hotels, NYLO Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World are recent additions to Alice’s portfolio.
“In the next six months, Alice is looking forward to releasing new features for use by hoteliers such as Checklists, a tool to improve task management; SMS automation, which automates responses via text to common guest questions, and more,” Effron said.