Home rental business buys Hello Scout, gets exclusive access

Hello Scout, a San Francisco-based personalisation and text messaging platform for hotels, has been bought by Australian luxury home rentals specialist Luxico which now has “exclusive access” to the technology.

The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Hello Scout launched in 2015 (tnooz startup pitch from Feb16 here) and has financial backing from General Catalyst, Launch Fund, Slow Ventures, and Social + Capital. It has also won start-up pitch competitions at HITEC and Phocuswright.

Hello Scout is an app and text-based virtual concierge for partner properties which allows guests to communicate in real-time with local experts.

Cofounder David Temple explained the decision to sell the business. He told tnooz: “Luxico approached us with a great offer that we and our shareholders felt was right for the business.”

Its existing partnerships with hotels – including a tie-up with some hotels in New York which use Alice – will be “put on hold”.

Temple, who is exiting the business but remains an advisor following a transition to the new owners, explained that Hello Scout had concerns about its ability to scale in the hotel sector.

“Our product is based on the guest profile – it takes inferences from the profile to suggest activities which form the basis of what our local experts offer in destination. But the issue is getting the right data from the PMS and not all PMSs were able to give us enough information to work with.

“But what Luxico has is its own data profiling set-up, and this will work with our technology. It believes that Hello Scout will add greatly to the service it offers clients.”

Luxico runs more than 200 upmarket holiday homes in Australia and said that it will start using Hello Scout immediately. Its target market is “VIPs, families, and affluent travellers” and it provides 24/7 service to guests staying at its upmarket holiday homes.

Temple said that Luxico was concentrating on maximising the internal opportunities across its portfolio. “It is possible the tech might be made available externally but that is up to them,” he said.


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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for e-tid.com, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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