HotelTonight, the aptly named booking service that gets you a hotel—tonight, has hopped the pond. The startup, which recently closed an impressive $23 million Series C round, announced Wednesday that it has kicked off its international expansion, starting with London. The exclusively mobile company is also adding former Jetsetter VP Heather Leisman as Managing Director in Europe.
“As in the US and Canada, the beautiful design and mobile-only nature of HotelTonight will appeal mainly to tech-forward, discerning tastemakers who are looking for a way to book hotels that doesn't force them jump through hoops or sift through heaps of junk to find the best hotels in London. The existing same-day booking market is an enormous portion of all hotel bookings,” HotelTonight COO Jared Simon told me.
HotelTonight, which offers steep discounts of up to 70% on same-day hotel bookings, is partnering with some of the top hotel brands in the UK, including Morgans Hotel Group, Thompson Hotels, and Langham Hotels & Resorts, among others. The app conveniently launches just weeks ahead of the 2012 summer Olympics in London, which could potentially expose HotelTonight to a huge number of tourists visiting London for the summer. That also got me to thinking about U.S. tourists who might be familiar with HotelTonight’s product and want to use it in London.
“While international data plan pricing has come down, it can still be pricey. Luckily, folks can access our app from their phone or iPad over any WiFi connection as well,” said Simon.
London is just the first of many cities that HotelTonight plans to include in its expansion plans. The company also announced today that it has opened its first overseas office in the Shoreditch area of East London. The company plans to expand to other cities in the UK and Western Europe in the coming months.
Heather Leisman will lead the strategy and oversee HotelTonight’s expansion in Europe. Leisman has over 16 years of experience in online travel.
HotelTonight is celebrating its London touchdown with a promotion. London travelers can get £15 off their first booking by using the promo code UK15, and can receive another £15 off when they get a friend to make their first booking through HotelTonight.
Founded in 2011, HotelTonight has raised $38.85 million to date. Available hotel rooms go live on the app at noon and users can book discounted rooms on the same day until 2 am. The service is a win-win for hotels that need to fill rooms and travelers who have a sudden change of plans and need to find a place to stay pronto.