See the pitch deck software startup Stayflexi used to raise $1.6 million helping hotels profit from guests willing to pay for late checkouts
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- Hotel software company Stayflexi announced a $1.6 million seed round on Tuesday.
- The startup aims to make flexible checkout and other services easier and profitable for hotels.
- The funding comes from the accelerator Y Combinator and a few other venture capitalists.
Hotel and vacation rental software company Stayflexi announced on Tuesday that it has raised a $1.6 million seed fund. The funding comes from Y Combinator, the famous startup accelerator that Stayflexi spent time in this year, Agya Ventures, BlueField Capital, Asymmetry Ventures, Good New Ventures, and a range of individuals.
The company, founded in 2018 and based in San Francisco and India, has built software for a hotel operating system that handles guests from the moment they book until the end of their stay. The main distinction it has from other software used by hotels and vacation-rental operators who list homes on platforms like Airbnb is that it promotes flexible check-in and check-out times, as well as flexible booking of amenity space like a business center or conference room for remote workers and other guests.
The three founders, CTO Preetam Mohan Shetty, CIO Krishna Sasank Talasila, and CEO Venkatesh Sakamuri, worked together at Oracle in San Francisco. They spent a lot of time traveling together, and continually had to deal with rigid check-in and check-out times, even when dozens of rooms in their hotels were empty.
As they searched for a way to solve this, they realized that the demand is there: Sakamuri even found that 80% of the guests at his family’s vacation rental properties asked for flexible check-in and check-out times.
“The supply side is the problem — the system and the processes of running a hotel,” Sakamuri told Insider. “There has to be a fundamental change. That’s how we decided to create an operating system.”
Stayflexi’s software does all of the things you’d imagine it might: keeps track of when guests are staying in which rooms, manages marketing across all of the major travel websites like Expedia, Hotels.com and Airbnb, and automates basic accounting for the property. It also, of course, lets guests pay to come and go whenever is most convenient for their travel schedules.
Stayflexi will be competing against traditional property management, revenue management, and booking channel management like Oracle’s OPERA software, as well as venture-backed startups like Cloudbeds that have built enterprise software suites like Stayflexi’s.
It also offers a range of other ways for hotels to drive revenue. The company offers flexible booking of amenities, allowing hotels to turn empty conference space into impromptu coworking spaces for remote workers, short-term booking of parking, and an easy way to pay to upgrade a room.
The problem of coordinating guests and cleaning has been a major part of why hotels are reticent to be so flexible, but Sakamuri said that Stayflexi automates all of the logistics, saving struggling hotels on labor costs like a round-the-clock receptionist to field guest calls. The company offers self-check-in, lowering the amount of concierge staff a hotel needs, similar to what’s happening in managed short-term rentals like Sonder.
The company sees other opportunities to cut back on hotel labor in the future. One operator asked if they could make a a flexible cleaning schedule, which would allow them to trade staff cleaners for gig workers. Sakamuri said the company hasn’t yet built this feature but expects to build more features that save hotels’ labor costs and incentivize them to switch to the software.
Stayflexi’s founders walked us through the pitch deck they used to raise funds as they left Y Combinator. See below.