"The Mews platform provides hotels with a beautifully designed product that is both cloud based and optimised for mobile devices..."
There are some major trends in the tech world that are having a major impact across all industries in various ways.
We are attached to our mobile devices like never before to access an ever increasing range of services. We are paying for more and more stuff on-line – partly due to this attachment to our phones but also because it’s usually easier. We are also using things ranging from bicycles to office space to magazines in a more flexible, pay as you go way.
But the hotel industry has been very slow to take advantage of these developments. You can find and book a room on-line using various well known sites. But beyond that, in terms of how customers interact with the hotel itself, very little has changed. You check in (at a set time), fill out a form, hand over a credit card, receive a key, speak to a different person about concierge services and then make your way to your room. You then have to pick up the phone every time you want anything. And so it goes on.
The incumbent players, most notably Oracle Opera, have built products that are rooted in complexity, relying on the industry’s resistance to change and a steady flow of integration and connection fees to sustain their position. This complacency has led to very little innovation for their customers and guests.
This is why I’m so excited to be announcing Notion’s investment in Mews today. Mews was born out of Richard Valtr’s personal frustration with trying to make a hotel his family was developing in Prague more mobile friendly. What he found was outdated technology that was both very difficult to use and to integrate with. Richard found a talented ally in Matt, who gave up his fast-tracked career at Hilton, and the two of them set about disrupting the market.
Mews has built an ‘operating system’ for hotels that can power them into the future. The Mews platform provides hotels with a beautifully designed product that is both cloud based and optimised for mobile devices. It means hotel operators do not have to install or maintain anything in-house and can have access to the product from wherever they are using any device. And the product covers the full range of functionality that you need to operate a hotel and service your customers – it includes booking, room allocation, concierge services, maintenance and cleaning, on-line check-in/out and a flexible reporting dashboard.
In addition to this, Mews has fully integrated payments into the solution. So customers can pay for both their room and additional services on-line and there is no handing over your credit card multiple times and then being handed forms to sign and a printed copy of your bill.
The final piece of the solution is the growing marketplace of partners that have integrated with Mews. The company is following a true platform based strategy where they already have more than 50 third party apps and services plugged into their API delivering a more enhanced solution for both hotels and their guests.
Looking to the future Mews will enable a world where you can have a seamless and dynamic hotel experience end to end. Booking, check-in, information, payments, room access and check-out will be like calling an Uber and you will simply be charged for the time that you use rather than chained to a set time for check-in/out. That’s the hotel experience for the 21st century.
It’s difficult to overstate the levels of frustration and hostility we found in the market towards the incumbent, Oracle Opera. In doing our research we talked to lots of hotels, both large and small, and the complaints were both loud and consistent – current solutions are inflexible, expensive, difficult to use and very hard to integrate with. On top of that they are not cloud-based or optimized for mobile devices.
I believe there is a tipping point approaching in the industry where more and more hotels are going to move across to a solution that is built for the future rather than the past. That is built for how we now like to live and makes our hotel experience easier and more convenient. And I believe Mews will be a major catalyst in this disruption.
We couldn’t be more excited to be making this investment with our friends at HenQ and Thayer Ventures, and I’m really looking forward to working with Richard, Matt and the rest of the team.