STARTUP PLANS TO LAUNCH IN HOTELS INTERNATIONALLY
An $8 million cash infusion will open more doors for Plano startup OpenKey as it speeds toward its goal of being in 16,500 hotel rooms by year’s end.
The company developed a mobile app solution that allows hotel guests to use their mobile phones to open the door, check in to the hotel, and request services.
“[The funding] helps us with hiring more people that we need to support the business.”
In addition to the Series A funding, OpenKey is moving into a new, larger office in Plano next week and will begin hiring for more positions soon, CEO and founder TJ Person said. At about 4,000 square feet, the Plano office is twice the size of the startup’s old location.
“[The funding] helps us with hiring more people that we need to support the business,” Person said.
The funding was led by the Dallas-based Ashford Group of Companies. California-based Phoenix American also participated.
OpenKey is also preparing to launch in hotels internationally. Person said the company is talking to hotels in Mexico, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.
“It’s really easy for us to deploy in any hotel,” he said. “We already have the connections for the locks worldwide.”
Resorts throughout Latin America are also interested, he said.
For the United States, it’s a mixture of independent hotels and smaller chains that are fueling growth.
“They get to have the same technology that that Marriott and Hilton are launching, but without an IT team to support that,” he said.
Instead, OpenKey handles it.
“It looks like your hotel, has all your imagery, and it’s in the app store under your name.”
This month OpenKey also launched a white label app that can be branded to any hotel rather than having guests use the OpenKey app.
“It looks like your hotel, has all your imagery, and it’s in the app store under your name,” Person said. “We can get that up and running very quickly for a hotel.”
In recent months, OpenKey has increased security on the app, with a fingerprint verification on iPhones and a swipe pattern on Android devices. The hotel can also send push notifications for special events, such as a pool party.
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