By Jeremy Khalil on May 19, 2015
On 18 May 2015, HotelQuickly, Asia Pacific’s leading last-minute hotel booking app, announced that it has reached a remarkable milestone by recording more than 1,000,000 downloads of its last-minute app since its launch two years ago. The app delivers superior user experience by providing a curated selection of top hotels in 200+ destinations across Asia Pacific and making them available at lower prices than online. To date, more than 6,000 three to five star hotels have teamed up with the start-up, making the app the by far largest provider of last-minute rooms also in terms of bookable hotel inventory.
The 1,000,000 downloads milestone will be celebrated with double reward value of a friend-redeemed voucher. Meanwhile, the top 50 inviters all win a free night in HotelQuickly’s partner hotels. The grand prize, including a spontaneous weekend trip for two, including flight and lodging will be awarded to the number one inviter.
“Over the past few years we’ve witnessed a drastic shift from online to mobile, the vast majority of smartphone users wouldn’t go out of home leaving their devices behind, which was one of the key reasons why we’ve decided to focus on mobile. We strive to make travelling easier, more convenient and life more spontaneous,” said Tomas Laboutka, HotelQuickly’s Singapore based Co-Founder and CEO. “We are in a massive ramp-up mode. We have recently launched an app for Apple Watch and we are working on a number of exciting new product features, which we will be able to announce soon,” he continued.
HotelQuickly raised more than US$ 5.65m in two rounds, which was used to expand to 15 countries. Its most notable backers include GREE, Inc, a Japanese mobile gaming giant, William E. Heinecke, the Chairman & CEO of Thai-based Minor International, as well as the former Chairman of Singtel and Chairman of Singapore Airlines, Boon Kwee Koh.
HotelQuickly’s data found that Kuala Lumpur, one of the hubs in Southeast Asia that appeals to leisure and business travelers alike, remains the most booked last-minute destination. The average last-minute room rate in Malaysia booked by HotelQuickly members was on average more than 30% lower than what these travelers would have paid online for the exact same room. “37% of our users prefer 3 star hotels followed by 4 star and 5 star hotels. More than 80% users in Malaysia are domestic travellers and most of the bookings are done on a Friday.” said Tan Wen Dee, HotelQuickly Malaysia based Marketing and Public Relations Manager.
“HotelQuickly’s partner hotels understand the concept of optimizing their occupancy on last-minute and grant spontaneous travelers generous discounts of 30-40%, sometimes even 50% or more. This allows our members to stay in hotels more often and gives upscale hotels a competitive edge over entry level hotels,” commented Raphael Cohen, HotelQuickly’s Hong Kong based Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer. “Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are also among the most popular destinations that our members enjoy travelling to on last minute. The more rooms get booked via HotelQuickly the bigger the discounts normally, as hotels realize the benefits of being featured on the app,” he added.
Unlike traditional booking websites, HotelQuickly allows bookings only via its mobile application, which is available for free for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry 10 devices. Based on user location, booking behavior, preferences set on the application and a number of undisclosed other factors, the app automatically adjusts the selection of hotels to only show the most relevant hotels to each traveler. The exceptionally low prices are only possible because of the company’s focus on the last-minute segment.
HotelQuickly is also on a hiring spree: The company grew from less than 20 twelve months ago to almost 90 in nine offices today. IT engineering, business development, and customer service positions are some of the still vacant positions, as the company aims to launch in 60+ new destinations all across Asia Pacific this year alone. One of the most recent joiners is Niklas Olsson, who joined HotelQuickly as Director of Offline Marketing & Partnerships, working with Sydney-based Co-Founder and CMO Christian Mischler to accelerate expansion across the APAC region. Olsson joined from THE ICONIC, Rocket Internet’s Australian online fashion retailer, where he played a vital role in launching the company and leading its digital and marketing operations.
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