Zingle Secures $11 Million to Bring AI to the Hotel Guest Experience One Text at a Time
Acquisition of Presto AI Enables the Leader in Business Text Messaging to Harness the Power of Intent
With more than half of hoteliers planning to increase technology spending in 2019 on innovations that increase loyalty and personalize the end-to-end travel experience, leading business-to-customer messaging solution, Zingle, announced that it has raised an additional $11 Million in funding. Led by PeakSpan Capital, the funding will be used to build out the company’s solutions and team as Zingle pushes further into hospitality.
Differentiated from chatbots that rely on keywords and scripted decision-tree logic, Zingle uses a combination of newly integrated artificial intelligence and human engagement to provide the type of white-glove service and guest experience that travelers demand. Through the ability to analyze message intent, Zingle is able to understand the guest need and reply with an automatic response, suggest a response for hotel staff to execute, or trigger an activity like creating a service ticket, streamlining operations.
“Today’s consumers expect the brands they do business with to provide memorable experiences and top notch customer service,” said Ford Blakely, CEO & Founder of Zingle.“These preferences ring especially true in the hospitality space where travelers have a wide array of services to choose from. Zingle’s platform gives hospitality brands the ability to provide exemplary service and deliver personalized experiences.”
With the acquisition of Philadelphia-based Presto AI, a hospitality-focused, computational linguistics, and data science team, the Zingle platform has evolved significantly. By analyzing and learning from millions of monthly messages exchanged between guests and hotels, the solution is able to categorize over 150 different intents, making responses smarter and more personalized. Message data is also stored in Zingle’s analytics and can be used to inform data-driven decisions, i.e., using message volume trends to make smarter staffing decisions.
“Through the acquisition of the Presto AI team, the Zingle platform has taken a significant step forward,” continued Blakely. “Zingle is now uniquely positioned to provide hotels an AI-equipped solution that meets growing consumer demand for both digital engagement and automated onsite convenience while improving guest engagement intelligence from booking to check-out.”
“In the last five years, travel companies have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding,” said Matt Melymuka, Co-Founder and Partner, PeakSpan Capital. “The majority of these companies are in the business of creating experiences. As more traditional players in the hospitality space look to augment their offerings to compete with this new wave of companies, Zingle provides a simple, yet highly effective way for properties to engage with guests in a more personalized way, thus, transforming an ordinary stay into a memorable one.”
Zingle has also recently made additions to its executive leadership team, recently hiring Jason Hekl, SVP of Marketing (formerly of SiriusDecisions and Coupa Software); Ellis Connolly, SVP of Sales (formerly of TrustYou and Cvent), and Eric Pannese, SVP of Product (formerly of NuORDER and Intuit). Each hire brings strategic leadership experience at venture backed SaaS companies.
To date, leading hotels and resorts such as Hyatt, Broadmoor, and Great Wolf have exchanged over 120 million messages with guests on the Zingle platform.