Thynk wants to improve hotel stays with a vertical software platform

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Meet Thynk, a company that wants to build the right enterprise software solution for the hospitality industry. The startup has raised a $13 million Series A round.

The round is led by a single, New York-based fund managed by Itai Tsido and Belgian investment firm CNP (Groupe Freire). Fly Ventures, a shareholder in the startup, reinvested.

When it comes to software-as-a-service companies, entrepreneurs prefer to address a specific segment. Some companies prefer to focus on the long tail of small and medium-sized companies, because they often do not have the right tools to do their job. For example, in the hospitality industry, amenities focus only on independent hotels and B&Bs.

Thynk sits at the other extreme as it is designed for hospitality companies that operate multiple properties and want to streamline their processes.

“When I thought about starting a company again, I looked at the market and looked at different verticals to find a company that could reach 500 million dollars. [annual recurring revenue]” co-founder and CEO Pascal Petty told me.

In particular, Petit was looking for an industry that would benefit from an enterprise software solution that could focus on three pillars – sales, operations and finance. Some inspiring companies include Veeva and nCino, two enterprise software companies focused on the pharmaceutical and banking industries, respectively.

It lands on the neglected hospitality industry, which generates $9 billion in revenue each year. “This industry is completely inadequate in terms of integrated information systems. It’s a branch of property management. The ultimate goal of hospitality is nothing more than a new way to monetize real estate assets,” Petty said.

After all, when you arrive at a hotel, the receptionist is sitting in front of the computer. They are usually associated with a property management system (PMS). This system will tell you which room is available and how much it will cost to book another night.

“These systems are built with a focus on the perimeter of a building. [profit and loss]” Pete said. Basically, when you check out, all the data collected during your stay evaporates.

However, hotels have changed a lot in recent years. In addition to hotel rooms, many hotels now have elegant restaurants, sophisticated cocktail bars, conference centers, work spaces, spas, and a variety of paid experiences.

Following the corporate playbook

Thynk does not want to replace asset management systems. The startup believes that these systems will always be there to activate the key cards, tell the hotel staff when they need to clean the room and other tasks.

Built on top of Salesforce’s stack, Thynk acts as a key information system for hotel groups. First, it collects, cleans, consults and consolidates customer data. Each customer becomes a unique ID, which is a big mindset shift. Thynk focuses on customers rather than departments – just like CRM.

After that, data can be used for several internal processes – group booking, payment flows with deposits and prepayments, proposal production and more. For example, if a loyal customer wants to book a dozen rooms, but the hotel is full, the sales team has a multi-property overview and can take over another hotel.

And finally, Thynk can be used to proactively engage with customers with new offers, exciting opportunities and inquiries, all of what you expect from a customer success team.

A product like Thynk makes sense in 2023 as many hotel groups are trying to streamline their operations. Due to skills shortages, some support roles have been centralized by regions or countries. They need better tools because they don’t interact directly with hotel customers. Moreover, they work for many hotels at the same time.

The startup has signed contracts with a few hotel groups, such as Postillion in the Netherlands, Groupe Lucien Barriere in France and Design Hotels in Germany. In the United Arab Emirates, Tink has started working with Rotana Group, which has 65 hotels and 15,000 rooms.

“They’re using us as an integral part of their internal system, and since they’ve started a franchise,” Pete said.

And this is key to Tynk’s potential success. After hospitality companies integrate the platform with their property management system and keep all data in Thynk, it becomes a core part of the customer base. “We’re trying to replace the car’s engine, so the buying decision is pretty tight,” Pettit said.

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