Menlo Park-based startup Akia has secured a new round of funding from GSR Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm with more than $3 billion under management. Akia, which is focused on transforming the way hotels engage with their guests, will reportedly use the capital to accelerate and expand implementation of its AI-enabled hotel messaging platform platform.
Founded in 2018 by a team of ex-Facebook engineers, the platform allows hotels to provide guests with contactless options such as pre-arrival check-in and shifting in-person guest communications to text messaging. Akia’s customers include brands such as Hyatt, Marriott, Best Western, NoMad and The Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences.
Akia’s AI helps hotels automate busywork, enabling staff to focus on important guest-related tasks. According to Evan Chen, CEO of Akia, a 500-room property could free up approximately 200 hours per month that can be redirected toward providing better service.
The company reports that for properties adopting Akia’s messaging solution, up to 72% of guests engage with staff via text, with 84% of those guests opting to check-in using text-messaging, reducing staff-to-guest contact and eliminating lines at the check-in counter.
Hotels that adopt Akia see a significant boost in guest satisfaction, according to the company. One property utilizing the platform reportedly experienced a 142% increase in positive online reviews.
Earlier this month, the company announced Digital Registration Cards (where signatures can be collected over text-messaging) which facilitates contactless check-in and guest communication from hotels to their guests. Guests will have opportunity to read and sign these digital registration cards prior to arrival. This will enable hotels to cut down time guests spend idling at the front desk all the while maintaining exceptional customer service.
Investment amount and terms were not disclosed.