Two friends named Mike saw there wasn’t a way for hotels to exchange booking information with the websites they listed their rooms on. So, they quit their jobs to find a solution and inside a Sydney rental apartment was born SiteMinder – the original name of our flagship solution, The Channel Manager.
The Mikes went door-to-door, offering the solution to hotels for free as a show of faith in its promise.
Within six months after launch, 70+ hotels were using our channel manager and loving it. A low monthly fee was introduced to support development and we took our offering offshore, beginning our dominance in New Zealand.
We received AU$250,000 from an angel investor this year and hired our first employee!
With the growth of metasearch and the rise of OTAs, hotels begin searching for solutions that could allow them to take reservations directly through their hotel website. Enter SiteMinder’s online booking engine: TheBookingButton.
In August, we landed our first hotel chain in Rydges. The win began the succession of hotel chains that would adopt our solutions over the years, recognising their unrivalled ability to scale – up or down.
We inked a partnership with one of the largest property management systems in the world: ‘Opera’ by Oracle (then Micros-Fidelio).
Our success in the Pacific encouraged us to expand in other parts of the world. We opened an office in London in May and, by December, we’d earned the 68th spot on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific list.
By this time, we were celebrating 4,000+ hotel customers around the world, 16% of which were based outside of the Pacific. The annual hotel revenue that passed through our technology exceeded US$1 billion for the first time.
We opened our third office in March, in Cape Town, and enhanced our suite of hotel solutions with the launch of GDS by SiteMinder.
After only five years, SiteMinder had become a force not only in the Pacific but South-East Asia, South Africa and the UK. The annual hotel revenue that passed through our technology had doubled to US$2 billion
To support our global expansion, we raised AU$5 million in funding from Bailador Investment Management and opened a new office in Bangkok in October.
Our channel manager was also opened up to be white labelled by other technology providers, as part of our Room Distribution Exchange (RDX) program.
Hello, Hotel Customer #10,000. Not only did we now have 10,000 hotels who backed us, our growth trajectory outside of the Pacific was stronger than ever. By this year, 36% of our customers were based in EMEA and 13% were located in Asia.
We also certified as a Premium Partner to TripAdvisor’s TripConnect, and ranked #63 for the second consecutive year in the BRW Fast 100.
Oh, what a year. In January, we became the first Australian-headquartered investment for Silicon Valley-based TCV. The US$33 million funding accelerated further development of our technology and global expansion with the opening of our fifth office, in Dallas, in June to support our entry into the US market.
Having observed the rise of the Chinese traveller market, in October we partnered with China’s leading OTA, Ctrip, and became the first channel manager provider to establish a real-time, two-way connection to their platform for hotels.
CIO Review placed us in its annual list of the 20 most promising travel & hospitality solution providers.
The annual flow of hotel revenue through our technology surpassed US$10 billion for the first time.
Recognising the cruciality of direct bookings, we acquired leading online booking engine provider Globekey in June to strengthen our already-formidable presence in Asia. This move was supported by the launch of our own hotel website creator, Canvas, at World Travel Market London in November.
We ended the year with the welcome of Restel’s Rantasipi Tropiclandia as our 20,000th hotel customer.
H2 Ventures and Investec ranked us #17 in their inaugural report of the top 50 technology pioneers to come out of Australia and New Zealand. The prestigious honour coincided with our sixth consecutive listing on the Deloitte Technology Fast Australia 50.
By this time, we had 23,000+ customers around the world who were introduced to our hotel business intelligence solution and new office in Galway, Ireland, in the same year.
Hi there, RQ Grupo Hotelero a.k.a Hotel Customer #26,000! Our signing of the Chilean group marked the beginning of our deep penetration into the Latin American market.
Only months later, The Silicon Review revealed our spot on their 2017 list of the ‘50 Best Companies to Watch‘.
Our biggest year to date. In February, Airbnb shocked the world by welcoming traditional hospitality business for the first time and we were there to launch the offering with them as Airbnb’s first global hotel technology partner. We signed Italy’s River Palace Hotel as our 30,000th hotel customer one month later.
Come June, we were ready to tackle one of the most notorious barriers to innovation in hotel technology. The launch of SiteMinder Exchange was a statement of exactly this, and it’s since provided much-needed relief for all developers of hotel property management systems and applications who have long considered connectivity to be their single-most crippling challenge.
To complete the year, we appointed our first CEO, Sankar Narayan, to co-lead us alongside our founder and managing director, Mike Ford. Sankar’s brought to us 20+ years in the travel, technology, media and telecommunications sectors, and we think he’s pretty awesome.
From our pioneering partnership with RoomIt by CWT, which has given hotels direct access to a travel management company’s clients for the first time, to our partnership with Ryanair, which has given European hotels direct access to sell their properties on Ryanair Rooms, 2019 is shaping up to be another incredible year and the best is yet to come…