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I’m delighted to share that Mews has raised a $185mil Series C investment round from a host of leading investment firms. I’d like to talk a little bit (I’ll try to keep it concise!) about how this massive vote of confidence in Mews is hugely exciting news not just for us, our customers and their guests, but for hospitality as a whole.
The chance to redefine industry standards
In 2019, Mews raised $33m in our Series B funding round. In the three years since then, so much has changed, at Mews, in hospitality and around the world. But in truth, at an industry level, most of this change is what we predicted to happen – and prepared for. It just happened at a much faster pace.
$185m is a big investment, particularly in a time when SaaS funding has taken a big hit owing to global factors. What we have, then, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take the lead in the transformation of the hotel industry. To accelerate the change in mindset from room-centric to guest-centric and to radically rethink what work means in the context of the hospitality profession.
Mews was a pioneer for automation in hospitality. A decade ago, many hoteliers needed convincing that more technology was actually the way to improve guest experiences. Today, almost everyone can see the benefits. The paradigm has shifted from should I embrace technology? to what else can technology help me achieve?
What services and experiences can you provide that makes your brand unique? The future of hospitality is blended, with rooms only a part of a mix that includes workspaces, entertainment and much more. Not only does this mean more choice for guests, it means more available revenue for hoteliers.
Industry-wide adoption of the idea of space as a service – bookable spaces of all types – takes time to implement (technologically and behaviorally), but we’re already doing it. And we’re about to go faster and further.
We were the first PMS to open our APIs. The first to fully integrate additional space solutions like parking. The first to offer memberships and long-term stays as part of the same platform. And we’ll continue pushing our industry forward, enabling new revenue streams and business models for hotels while also giving guests more holistic hospitality.
The changing roles of hotel staff
We also care deeply about the human at the center of all of this, not just the guest but the hotel worker. What does more technology and more ML/AI/GPT3 (and any other acronym you care to think of) mean for the existing jobs in our industry?
Well, for a start, we think that hospitality jobs are about to get less general and more specialized, and as such, we will be looking at unbundling the general-purpose front desk agent. The future of work is more on-demand work, and thus the idea of experience curators, personalized trip planners, and smart assistants of all flavors will come to the fore. Rather than technology taking away these jobs, we think that more people than ever before will be used by hotels in all categories.
As hospitality professionals move further and further into longer time units, we will see the borders between hotel stays and catered residences slowly disappear as brands become more global and entwined. Much like the unbundling of the hotel technology that open systems allow, the idea of where service happens will also change, as well as how guests are catered to.
What does it mean for Mews?
We’ve spoken a lot about how Mews began as a cloud solution to solve the specific problems of a hotel. In our infancy, as we built and expanded our technology, we were perfectly suited to powering smaller, independent hotels.
Then, as we grew up, we became hugely successful in the wider SMB market, before moving into mid-market brands and chains, accelerating digital transformation. These were the properties that were ready to embrace a new mindset.
Now, in the last couple of years, we’ve started to achieve the same success at larger scale and on a global level. Recent partnerships with Accor and Nordic Choice have shown that giant global chains are ready for the Mews mindset – and this funding round will help us transform these and similar major brands ever faster.
Our Series A and B funding rounds were a confirmation of our vision and business model. This latest round is a demonstration that we’re ready to be a category leader, to forge a new path for hospitality.
It will also allow us to invest more in key regions around the world. In areas like the Netherlands, for instance, Mews already has a 20% market share. There’s no reason Mews can’t achieve the same kind of market share (or higher) in regions like the US, UK and France. We already have the momentum, and now we have the financial support to do it.
In short, this is a hugely exciting time for Mews, and by extension for forward-thinking hoteliers around the world. All aboard the Mews rocket ship.
Richard founded Mews in 2012 and has since become one of hospitality's true innovators and thought leaders.
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