Sternlicht, will be investing in the company, operators of a mobile-phone app for booking same-day hotel rooms and will be joining them as a strategic advisor.
Barry Sternlicht / Getty
Barry Sternlicht, regarded as being among the most influential people in the hotel industry, currently chief executive of Starwood Capital Group, has reportedly made a considerable personal investment in the startup HotelTonight.
San Francisco based HotelTonight was co-founded by Sam Shank and Jared Simon in 2011, with both Shank and Simon bringing considerable experience as online entrepreneurs to the company.
As well as his investment, Barry Sternlicht will also be taking on a role as strategic adviser for the company whose mobile-phone app specially developed to source availability of “same-day” hotel rooms and facilitate them at a significant discount has allowed them to gain significant impetus in the market.
Among the hotel chains that have discovered the benefits of HotelTonight are the Best Western International Inc., the Hyatt Hotels Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Barcelo Hotels & Resorts and the Steigenberger Hotel Group, with plans in the offing to add more hotel chains to their list.
According to Sam Shank, HotelTonight are well on target to reach their goal of having a list of at least 10, 000 hotels featured on their app in the very near future, eventually spreading outside of the United States to across the World. To date, the HotelTonight app has been downloaded over nine million times.
Confirming his appointment as strategic advisor for HotelTonight Barry Sternlicht pointed out that booking windows within the hotel industry are constantly shrinking with potential customers increasingly becoming mobile- a trend which positions Hotel Tonight perfectly for the future. “HotelTonight is a refreshing alternative that should become a major participant in the future of hotel distribution.” Sternlicht concluded his statement.
HotelTonight COO and co-founder Jared Simon, in a reciprocal statement stated that to have a visionary of the calibre of Barry Sternlicht both backing and advising the company is a powerful validation of the work the Hotel Tonight team and our top tier network of hotel partners have put into revolutionizing the travel industry. . “With his support, we are proving that the hotelier-distributor relationship doesn’t need to be adversarial, but can actually be mutually beneficial.” Simon summed up.
Since their founding in 2011, HotelTonight has succeeded in raising more than $80 million in venture capitol, from Battery Ventures, US Venture Partners, Accel Partners and First Round Capital among others. Their largest and most recent round of funding, came in September of last year, with the company raising $45 million in Series D funding.
Barry Sternlicht graduated magna cum laude, with honors, from Brown University, going on to receive his MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
After graduation, Barry began his professional career working with Chicago based JMB Realty, a real estate investment company.
In 1989, Sternlicht established his first business venture, which led to the launch of Starwood Capital Group two years later, with their principal activity being the acquisition of domestic properties, particularly apartment buildings with the company eventually diversifying into the purchase of hotel sites, focusing on combining his passions of architecture and real estate finance. In the space of twenty years, the Starwood Capital Group has completed transactions with an asset value exceeding $40 billion.
The Starwood Capital Group announced they will begin implementing a major construction project in 2012, which will see them complete a chain of luxury hotels. Under the name of Baccarat Hotels and Resorts, the group’s flagship hotel to be situated in the heart of Manhattan, New York City is due to open shortly, with other hotels scheduled to open in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, in Foshan, Shanghai and Tianjin in China among a number of other locations will be opening their doors during the next two years.