App developer and tech startup Zonetail has raised $2.3 million (Canadian) in Series A financing through private investors. The round of financing will help further develop its "anchored local" white-label hotel app, and grow its market and revenue.
Zonetail is a free mobile app and platform, custom branded to hotels, which connects guests to the full range of hotel services and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood.
"People don't just check into a hotel, they check into the neighborhood of a city," said Mark Holmes, president and CEO, Zonetail. "Most of people's lives, whether at home or traveling, are spent within five miles of their home base. By organizing the information that matters most to them, we are saving them time, and making their experience more rewarding."
The app platform taps into people's desire to travel to new cities, but to shop, dine, and explore like a local. According to a 2014 Trip Barometer survey, 90 percent of U.S. travelers use their mobile phones when vacationing. Further, 62 percent used it to search for restaurants, 52 percent to look for activities, and 62 percent to search for hotels.
"We strongly believe that Zonetail will help us enhance our guest services and connect with our customers," said Tom Tittel, vice president of operations, Silverbirch Hotels. "The app gives us the flexibility we need without developing a custom solution, which we predict will reduce our operating costs and increase revenue."
To date, Zonetail has signed agreements with more than 100 hotel properties in 10 Canadian provinces and 15 U.S. states, including three offshore hotels. The company is also in negotiations with major international hotel chains to launch the app on a chain-wide basis.
The app is free for hotels to use, with revenue streams coming from retail advertising from the surrounding area.
While it was launched as a hotel app, the Zonetail platform can be applied to any location where people live, work, stay, or congregate. Future plans include servicing condos, office towers, and large-scale events, among others.