Priceline Group buys Hotel Ninjas, adding more services to its new hotel tech jigsaw
Tnooz has learned Priceline has bought cloud-based hotel property management system Hotel Ninjas. Terms of the deal for the startup are unknown.
The Spain-based startup is less than two years old and currently working on a second iteration of the product, was founded by CEO Christian Enestrom and chief operating officer Avi Meir.
Priceline’s global hotel booking subsidiary giant Booking.com is fronting the acquisition which took place in May, but has yet to be officially unveiled.
Company registration documents in Spain seen by Tnooz indicate that a change in Hotel Ninjas’s structure and ownership started taking place on the May 12 this year, with Priceline’s head of worldwide planning and strategy and EVP of corporate development, Glenn Fogel, joining the board.
Alongside Fogel, the executive often credited with handling all of the Priceline’s acquisitions, is Todd Henrich, senior vice president for corporate development at Priceline, who also joined the board on the same date.
However, such details are essentially part of the legal process to pave the way for the acquisition. By May 29 the deal had been completed, with Booking.com now “socio unico” (sole proprietor) of Hotel Ninjas.
The startup, which has its office in Barcelona, has essentially created a system which sits on top of the Salesforce.com platform, allowing hoteliers to integrate into the system for customer relationship management as well as perform traditional property management system functions.
Although clearly not on the same scale as the OpenTable deal, the move to buy Hotel Ninjas coincides nicely from a strategy perspective with Priceline’s other acquisition last week, to buy full-service digital marketing platform Buuteeq, also for an undisclosed fee.
Both Buuteeq and Hotel Ninjas will belong to the same part of Priceline focusing on providing B2B services to hotels, run separately from the consumer-facing side of the group such as Booking.com.
With the pair of acquisitions Priceline is starting to resemble an interesting player in the accommodation sector, covering both marketing and reservation hosting for properties.
And Priceline’s motivation for this strategic move into B2B services via the Buuteeq and Hotel Ninjas acquisitions?
It will now have its fingers in two distinct pies in the hotel ecosystem, with consumer bookings handled by Agoda and Booking.com, alongside tools for hoteliers to improve their web and internal services to both help attract consumers who choose to go direct and manage their reservations.
A Priceline official confirmed that the acquisition had taken place and that more details about its integration would be shared in the coming months.
The company was previously bootstrapped by the founders and had raised a small level of public funding from the Spanish Young Entrepreneurs (ENISA) loan programme.
The original version of the SaaS-led system charged hotels between a range of Euro 3 and Euro 9 per room/month, depending on which features in the platform were included.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.