Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hot Startups - DashBell

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Nowadays, if you run a lodging business, even an independent bread-and-breakfast, and your business can't be found online, expect to be left behind and trampled by the rest of the pack. The Internet has interconnected the world in so many ways. Travelers now book accommodations online. If your online presence is relatively nil, you're practically throwing away a big piece of the pie that is your target population.

That said, however, small lodgings and independent hotels may still experience some setbacks while managing bookings via Expedia and Keeping up-to-date inventories in these sites entails constantly logging to each one, updating calendars, the number of rooms you have available and such, which can be time-consuming, to say the least.

Dashbell, a startup with headquarters based in Boston, is developing a product called OpenTable for independent hotels which will allow small lodgings to synchronize their online listings with their own systems. Meaning, the moment they update their systems, their online listings are automatically updated as well.

According to Paige Brown, Dashbell's co-founder and CEO, the company plans to beta launch in January, with initial focus on Brazil. Brazil is a country with a $12 billion hotel bookings market, 75% of which are independent. Of the 75%, only 4% are currently listed online. Dashbell intends to assist as many hotels as possible make the shift to online bookings before the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In the United States, there are far fewer independent hotels. Still, Dashbell isn't closing its doors to independent hotels in the country. Brown believes that a considerable number of small bread-and-breakfasts might benefit from using Dashbell in the future. By the end of the year, Dashbell expects to secure funding in the amount of $400,000 to $500,000 from angel investors.

[Via - NicheGeek.Com]

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