In the coming weeks, we will regularly present short portraits about the different startups from EHL’s Village de l’innovation. We are happy to start our Startup Interview series with the PrivateDeal:
What customer problem does your startup solve?
The rapid digitalisation of the hotel industry has created an online booking monopoly in the form of OTAs (booking.com, Expedia, …), which are now taking over more and more market share and weighing on hotel revenues. In addition, the increasing popularity of platforms such as Airbnb, which seek to prioritise the personalisation of the customer experience, poses a new challenge for hotels. PrivateDeal is a multi-faceted solution that helps hotels stand out in this competitive environment.
What is the solution to this problem and how did you find / develop this solution?
PrivateDeal is a white-label solution available directly on partner hotels’ websites. Presented as a dynamic widget, the system invites its users to propose their own price for a room (per night or day), service or package. In response to each offer, an AI-driven algorithm immediately decides whether to accept the price (if it is acceptable to the hotel) or to reject it and enter into a negotiation phase with the customer. The customer then receives a counter-proposal from the algorithm and has the option to accept it and pay online or repeat the process with a new price (up to 4 iterations).
In summary, PrivateDeal is, from the hotelier’s point of view, a direct sales solution that allows him to manage his promotions in complete discretion and sell, at negotiated prices, the rooms and services he wants at the times he wants with predefined rules.
The idea for this solution came from the experience of the founders, both former hoteliers, who were confronted with the rapid changes in the industry. Faced with the new challenges mentioned above, they thought about a system that would allow hoteliers to compete against the new online booking giants while offering customers a fun and personalised experience.
What stage of development are you at and what are the next steps for PrivateDeal?
PrivateDeal is now present in more than thirty countries and continues to expand in Switzerland and internationally, while developing new services to support the hotel industry.
*As EHL’s hospitality business incubator, the Village de l’Innovation supports promising start-ups and business ventures focused on or relevant to the food and hospitality industry. The startup profiled here is supported by EHL’s Village de l’Innovation.