Hotelyo, a “Vente Privée” for exclusive and luxurious hotels, has raised close to €1 million in an angel round. That’s pretty impressive for Italy’s standards.
The company already has a turnover of around €500,000 and to-date provides offers for 14 heavily discounted luxury hotels every seven days with more expected to come on board in the next few months. Hotelyo has around 300,000 members, mostly thanks to word of mouth. Properties are selected from a range of beautiful hotels throughout all of Europe and often include exotic destinations from around the world. Availability for these offers is limited and the fastest bookings receive additional discounts, while membership is free and the site guarantees new offers twice a week.
A few examples of the types of deals on offer include a romantic hotel overlooking the Venice canals for less than €90, or paying under €180 to enjoy “breathtaking” views over the “caldera” in the Greek Island of Santorini, from the comfort of the suite’s private jacuzzi.
Danilo Gasparrini, Hotelyo’s managing director, says: “Finding the perfect hotel is so much more difficult than finding a flight. Our company ensures that members are actually inspired to travel. Once they have secured that exclusive hotel deal they can pick and choose a flight to match their destination.”
The company was born via a partnership between Babotel, an online marketing consulting firm focusing on the tourism sector, and the Italian marketing and e-business giant Jakala. Fabio Cannavale (founder Bravofly), advertising guru Riccardo Lorenzini, David Serra (managing partner of Algebris) and other private investors participated in the funding round.
Hotelyo is structured as follows: Jakala Group spa 49%, Babotel srl 25%, Danilo Gasparrini (the founder, who also owns Babotel) 8%, Cannavale e Corradino (Bravofly) 5%, Riccardo Lorenzini 4%, David Serra 4%, and Others 5%.