Private investor funds travel software
£5m backs roll-out of Criton Apps digital concierge
Julie Grieve: ‘exciting time’
Travel technology entrepreneur Julie Grieve has secured £5 million for her “digital concierge” for the hospitality and holiday industry.
An undisclosed private investor has put up the cash for Criton Apps following a number of high profile customer wins. Ms Grieve is now looking to expand overseas.
Launched last November with personal funds and a Scottish Enterprise grant, the software moves guest information on to a mobile app which is seen as an essential next step for the travel industry to keep pace with today’s digital savvy traveller.
The app combines destination guides, guest and property management information.
Deals with affiliate technology companies, Loop and Bubbl, also mean that the app’s functionality includes geo-fencing, or location based offers and promotions.
Edinburgh hotel The Chester Residence, and serviced apartments, The Knight Residence, are Criton clients – a list that also includes hotels and travel destinations in America, Australia, Portugal and Germany.
Over the summer, Auchrannie Resort and Crieff Hydro became the latest big name wins.
The new investment will allow Ms Grieve to boost staff numbers to more than 30 in two years with sales bases planned for London and the Middle East scheduled to open early in 2018.
She said: “We have achieved a lot in the first twelve months, both in customer sign-ups and awareness.
“Our app-builder offers independent hotels a guest facing technology which rivals anything offered by chains such as Hilton and Marriott and we are making an impact.
“This is a sector, however, where it is important to move fast and this investment will allow us to take Criton to the next level with more staff and an international sales team
“We believe the future of travel and hospitality tech is on the guest’s own device, where they can use their own phone or tablet to check-in, access their room and operate in-room appliances using the power of the Internet of Things.
“In-room devices are used briefly, if at all, during the guest stay because they want to use their own device both in room and when out and about.
“We now have the foundations and the funds in place to meet our growth ambitions. It is an exciting time.”
Ms Grieve operates out of the UK’s largest technology incubator, CodeBase in Edinburgh and has six members of staff.