Thynk wants to upgrade hotel stays with a vertical software platform
Meet Thynk, a new company that wants to build the definite enterprise software solution for the hospitality industry. The startup just raised a $13 million Series A round.
This round was led by Singular, with a New-York based fund managed by Itai Tsiddon and Belgian investment firm CNP (Groupe Frere) also participating. Fly Ventures, an existing shareholder in the startup, invested once again.
When it comes to software-as-a-service companies, entrepreneurs choose to address a specific segment. Some companies choose to focus on the long tail of small and medium companies because they often don't have the right tools to do their job. For instance, in the hospitality industry, Amenitiz focuses exclusively on independent hotels and B&Bs.
Thynk sits at the other end of the spectrum as it has been designed for hospitality companies who operate multiple properties and want to optimize their processes.
"When I was thinking about starting a company again, I scanned the market and looked at different verticals to find a company that could reach $500 million in [annual recurring revenue]," co-founder and CEO Pascal Petit told me.
More specifically, Petit was looking for an industry that could 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.
He landed on the hospitality industry because it generates $9 billion in revenue every year and it has been neglected. "This industry is completely under-equipped when it comes to integrated information systems. It is a sector that comes from asset management. Hospitality's end goal is nothing more than a new way to generate income on real estate assets," Petit said.
Of couse, when you arrive at a hotel, the receptionist is sitting in front of a computer. They mostly interact with a property management system (PMS). This system tells you which room is available and how much it costs to book another night.
"These systems have been built around one building with a focus on [profit and loss]," Petit said. Essentially, when you check out, all the data that has been collected during your stay evaporates.
And yet, hotels have changed quite a lot in recent years. In addition to hotel rooms, many hotels now have fancy restaurants, sophisticated cocktail bars, conference centers, coworking spaces, spas and various paid experiences.
Following the enterprise playbook
Thynk doesn't want to replace property management systems. The startup believes that these systems will always be there to activate key cards, tell the hotel staff when a room needs to be cleaned and other tasks.
Built on top of Salesforce's stack, Thynk acts as a turnkey information system for hotel groups. First, it collects, cleans, centralizes and unifies customer data. Each client becomes a unique ID, which is a huge mental shift. Instead of focusing on rooms, Thynk focuses on clients -- like a CRM.
After that, data can be used for several internal processes -- group booking, payment flows with deposits and pre-payments, proposal production and more. For instance, if a loyal customer wants to book a dozen rooms, but the hotel is full, the sales team can take over and recommend another hotel as it has a multi-property overview.
And finally, Thynk can be used to actively reach out to customers with new offers, upselling opportunities and questions to improve a stay -- everything you would expect from the customer success team.
A product like Thynk makes sense in 2023 because a lot of hotel groups are trying to streamline their activities. Due to talent shortage, some support roles have been centralized by regions or countries. They need better tools as they are no longer in touch with hotel customers directly. Moreover, they work for several hotels at the same time.
The startup has already 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, Thynk has started working with Rottana, a group with 65 hotels and 15,000 rooms.
"They are using us as the core of their internal system, and because they are launching a franchise," Petit said.
And this is key to Thynk's potential success. Once hospitality companies integrate the platform with their property management systems and centralize all data in Thynk, it becomes an integral part of the clients' operations. "We are trying to replace the engine of the car, so the purchasing decision is very sticky," Petit said.