Travel and tourism are back on the map for consumers and the business world. Now, to underscore that surge, a startup building software in the space has closed a major funding round. Guesty, which has raised $130 million, builds a platform for accommodation managers to manage all aspects of their business on platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and directly to travelers.

The company, based in New York with roots in Israel, said it expects to be profitable this year and has grown revenue fivefold over the past three years (actual revenue figures were not specified). Sources confirmed to TechCrunch that the Series F round will value Guesty at approximately $900 million.

The round was led by KKR, with participation from Apax Funds, BDT & MSD Partners and Sixth Street.

To put that money into context: The travel industry has been rebounding strongly post-COVID-19, with the World Travel and Tourism Council estimating that the global travel industry will generate a record $11.1 trillion in sales by 2024, although U.S. and China has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels of strength.

That upward momentum has been building over the past few years, resulting in multiple rounds of nine-figure funding not just for Guesty, but for competitors and startups in the space. Guesty’s last Series E round in August 2022 was $170 million, valuing it at $690 million. Guesty’s direct competitor Hostaway raised $175 million (its first major round) last May. Within a day of the news, GetYourGuide raised a massive $194 million at a $2 billion valuation.

Mews, which like Guesty builds SaaS for hoteliers, raised $110 million last month (March 2024) at a $1.2 billion valuation. This serves as a reminder that investors are still willing to sign a term sheet under the right circumstances.

“It’s definitely a tough market. In every round I’ve raised, I’ve gotten 40 nos for every yes,” Guesty CEO Amiad Soto said in an interview.Now, Guesty is “on the verge of turning a profit this year,” joking “I still Got 40 “nos,” but also a lot more “yess.” “

Soto, who co-founded Guesty with his brother Kobe, who no longer works at the company, plans to spread the money across several different areas.

First, Guesty hopes to continue expanding its existing platform for existing customers. The business now covers “hundreds of thousands” of properties, he said—he repeatedly declined to provide me with a more specific number—and it will double down on the one-stop-shop concept that many other B2B tech companies are pushing. Today’s quest.

The platform covers the basics like listing and booking management software, analytics, accounting tools, the ability to manage multiple properties, and CRM functionality. Most recently, it added enhanced payment services and capital advances (built in-house, rather than third-party white-labeled, Soto said), damage protection services (it’s branching out into insurance), website-building tools and price optimization services. All are integrated with dozens of interfaces where property managers can list rooms or homes for travelers to book.

Second, while Guesty’s main focus to date has been short-term rentals (typically booked for less than a month), the company is now looking to expand into the medium-term space. This would open up, for example, more people who may be temporarily residing in a location for specific work assignments.

Third, Soto said Guesty wants to consider more acquisitions. This is because the market may not be bullish on all startups right now, but this is not a comment on the strength of the startups (talent and innovation) as it is the state of venture capital right now. What this basically means is that there are a lot of potentially very interesting companies that might be ready to be acquired at less-than-optimistic valuations.

Stephen Shanley, KKR partner and head of European technology growth, Lauriane Requena, head of KKR Tech Growth, and Dennis Kavelman, partner at Inovia Capital, will all join the board of directors in this round. “Guesty is a best-in-class operator and one of the clear leaders in property management,” Shanley said in a statement. “The short-term rental market has undergone significant shifts and this investment will support the company as it Continue to meet growing customer demand.”

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