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For Czechia, a third unicorn: Hotel SaaS firm Mews

As hotels shift from on-premise to cloud-based software, a Prague-based company created by hoteliers for hoteliers is leading the transformation.

Czechia has a new unicorn. Mews, a Prague-based firm developing software for accommodation services and restaurants, this week announced that it had raised an additional 110 million US dollars in funding led by Kinnevik, with participation from Revaia, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Notion Capital, and LGVP.

Following the latest funding round (which comes in addition to the company’s 185 million US dollars investment round in December 2022), the company’s valuation has reached 1.2 billion US dollars, meaning that it joins food-services outfit Rohlík and product management software developer Productboard as the third Czech unicorn.

“We’re seeing a fundamental shift in the way the world’s leading hospitality brands are accelerating their digital transformation and reshaping the way they deliver hospitality,” says Richard Valtr, an ex-hotelier who founded the firm in 2012.

“With this raise we will continue to build industry-leading products with a world-class team behind us. In five years, the way that hospitality brands and guests interact with each other will be completely different, with Mews leading the way.”

The funding follows a year of significant growth. In the last year, Mews has seen a more than 60 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year, crossing 100 million US dollars in annualised net revenue.

According to lead investor Kinnevik, the hospitality software and payments market is currently sized at over 20 billion US dollars and expected to grow at a rapid 11 per cent compound annual growth rate until 2030.

This growth is predominantly underpinned the shift from on-premise to cloud-based software, and the continued labour shortage and high turnover among hotel staff.

The cloud-based Mews property management system helps hotels and apartment rental providers simplify operations and automate customer and guest management, manual tasks, bookings, and payments, assisting in streamlining operations for hoteliers and transforming the guest experience. It currently powers 5,000 customers across more than 85 countries and last year processed more than five billion US dollars in payments.

“This funding is a credit to the strength of our vision, the Mews team, our forward-thinking customers and committed investors who have helped us get to where we are today,” says Mews CEO Matt Welle.

“As more hoteliers embrace modern technology, we have a huge opportunity to help them streamline their operations, build more profitable businesses and deliver personalised guest experiences. Mews is in a unique position to truly transform the industry.”

An industry in transformation

Investors agree. Akhil Chainwala, investment director at Kinnevik, says, “Matt and Richard are building a product and a team that is redefining the hospitality industry. In the short period of time since our initial investment, Mews has outperformed our expectations as it moved into new geographies and segments.

“Now, we are excited to further back the team to help them realise their ambitions and accelerate even more quickly—especially to extend the platform’s combination of software and payments. We’re looking forward to continuing this journey with Mews and being a part of the transformation that is happening across the industry.”

In January, Mews acquired Frontdesk Anywhere, a San-Francisco-headquartered cloud hotel management software, its third acquisition in North America in just under a year.

Photo by Nagesh Badu on Unsplash.

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