INVESTORS IN VIRDEE, a new software as a service company focused on producing “contactless” technology for hotels and other industries, have raised $2 million in seed money for the company. Among those investors is Rajiv Trivedi, former brand president for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc.’s La Quinta Inn.
Trivedi also serves as Virdee’s chairman of the board along with the company’s founder Branigan Mulcahy.
The company’s software is designed to be used to reduce time needed when guests check in from their smartphone or an in-lobby device. In tests at Virdee’s initial group of hotel beta-sites, average customer check-in times were reduced from more than three minutes to less than 20 seconds.
Guests verify their identity and provide a form of payment either on a self-serve basis or by video chat with a remote agent. Also, the software is built to catch and greatly reduce fraud and other charge backs while its room upgrade engine is meant to increase ADR.
Along with the hotel industry, Austin, Texas-based Virdee’s software is targeted toward multifamily, senior living, student housing and medical facilities.
“High operational costs continue to compress margins and erode profitability for owners of hotels and other real estate assets. Meanwhile, their customers increasingly want contactless modes of interaction,” Trivedi said. “This is the moment for hotels, apartments and other buildings to embrace – and lead – the move toward tech-first interactions.”
Mulcahy said the system is quick and easy to set up.
“We have already integrated with the leading smart-lock manufacturers, payment processors and property management systems most used by hotel and apartment owners,” he said.
The software is adaptable to a wide range of guest preferences and technical ability, said Nadav Cornberg, Virdee co-founder and chief technologist.
“The seed round enables us to invest in continued product differentiation and to meaningfully expand our sales and marketing efforts,” Cornberg said.
Trivedi retired from his position at La Quinta in 2019 to spend more time with his family. Trivedi’s announcement in a video to franchisees came a little more than a year after Wyndham acquired the La Quinta brand.