Big four international hotel chains invest US$50m in meetings booking platform

The hotel industry has come together in a rare show of unity with the big four chains investing in an event space booking technology.

Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor and Hilton have thrown a combined US$50 million behind Groups360, a booking engine for meeting space founded in 2014 by a few former Gaylord Entertainment executive.

“They’ll have a significant ownership stake, each of the brands will have representation on our board,” said David Kloeppel, chairman of Groups360. “Obviously there’s significant investment and they have a significant economic interest in the future of the company. They saw the things we’ve been doing to improve the shopping experience for planners and lead generation experience on the supplier side.”

The company has raised US$5.5 million in two funding rounds since its launch, with the new financial boost to help it increase staff from its current 30 employees.

“We need to staff up to continue to create a platform that meets the consumer’s need and is consumer-driven,” said Kemp Gallineau, CEO of Groups360. “We need to be able to embrace the supplier inventory, rates, and data to continue to create the awareness that there is technology that helps meeting planners.

“[Our competitors’ technology] was created the way the seller wants to sell, not the way the consumer wants to consume. Our mission is to make it simple.”