Impala raises $20 million to build the API of the hotel industry – TechCrunch
Impala has raised another round of funding just a few months after raising an $11 million Series A round. This time, the startup is raising a $20 million Series B round led by Lakestar. Latitude Ventures is also participating in the round.
The company is building a service that works pretty much like Plaid, but for hotel rooms. The hotel industry relies on old-school “property management systems” to manage rooms, room types, pricing, extras, taxes, etc.
Instead of asking hotels to switch to an entirely different property management system, the company is upgrading those systems with a modern API. This way, you can build applications that query hotel data directly with a few lines of code. You get a standardized JSON response from the API.
Three hundred hotels are currently working with Impala, such as Accor hotels (Mercure) and Hyatt-branded hotels. The company currently has a backlog of 3,500 hotels. It really shows that the industry has been waiting for a product like this.
While Impala is still focused on surfacing data in an easy-to-code manner, the company is already thinking beyond read-only data. The startup wants to let developers book rooms directly using the Impala API.
It could open up hotel bookings to many other services. For instance, you could imagine being able to book rooms on Lonely Planet’s website. Services selling train tickets and flights could upsell you with hotel rooms.
In order to offer rooms on the usual hotel booking services from Booking Holdings websites (Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Kayak…) and Expedia Group websites (Expedia, Hotels.com, HomeAway, Trivago…), many hotels currently work with channel managers to send out information to multiple services at once. In the future, Impala could replace those channel managers with its API.