DealAngel ventures into B2B with its hotel rate API -- UPDATEDNewsBy Sean O'Neil | February 18, 2013Share This article was originally published on DealAngel, a hotel search engine and aggregator that Tnooz profiled a year ago, has released a closed beta of its API of its hotel-deal-search technology to travel businesses so that they can find and promote their offers via their own sites.The San Francisco/Prague-based startup is a TechStars Boulder 2012 alumnus, Tnooz THack grad, and a PhoCusWright 2012 Innovator.Tnooz previously broke the news of the existence of the API in November when we reported that Gogobot had begun using DealAngel's deal-ranking technology.Starting in April 2013, travel agents and hoteliers will be, too, according to a Tnooz interview with Roman Peskin, co-founder and CEO at DealAngel. The API will have a tiered peruse-pricing model.Details on what the API does and doesn't doThe DealAngel API enables "third parties to access the historical hotel pricing data and pricing analytics produced by DealAngel," according to Peskin. "It doesn’t provide any real time pricing from DealAngel suppliers at all. It is rather a marketing aid that allows other travel companies with their own supplier contracts (and prices) to provide valuable insights to their end users, namely which of their hotel offers are great deals, and which are ripoffs."Share this quote DealAngel has provided a fact sheet on some hypotheticals about how travel companies could use the API, which covers major markets in North America, Europe and Israel, with some coverage in Russia. An OTA could use the DA API in a similar way to how DealAngel.com uses it to rank it’s real time online hotel offers according to how much of a deal they are. Honestly exposing real deals and deranking overpriced hotels increases conversions and boosts customers loyalty.A hotel wholesaler or a corporation negotiating special bulk rates for a particular hotel could use the DA API to see how ‘special’ the quoted rate really is.A daily deals site could use the DA API to check whether that ‘50%OFF super deal’ is actually that good before publishing it. The API helps alleviate ‘deal fatigue’.Share this quote UPDATE: A Q&A with CEO Roman Peskin:What were the founders experiences' in building revenue management tools for hotels prior to creating DealAngel?Our previous software project was called iNNtelligenz.Prior to that, I was working as revenue management consultant in Prague while Bob (my co-founder) was a Director at Expedia in charge of supply and revenue management for Central Europe inventory.Quite frankly, after we have built and started implementing iNNtelligenz I was blown away by how many hotels are missing the boat.On an average market at any given day 10%-20% of room rates are lower than they could/should be. Accordingly, about the same number of hotels aren't competitive, i.e. too pricey.What lessons did you learn about hotel revenue management that have been relevant to the creation or marketing of this hotel price intelligence API?One of the biggest things Bob and I learned was that most hotels are unaware or ignorant of their true competitive sets.Competitive sets mostly were a product of 'owners wishful thinking' - other properties a hotel wished it competes with but in fact they were often in a very different category.So we started using pricing history and statistical methods to identify 'true compsets' for each hotel on the market and using them to predict fair market prices all hotels in the market.This technology si what later has become a core part of DealAngel data mining system.How nicely will DealAngel's API play with the most common hotel revenue management and back-end tools used in North America and Europe? Our ability to predict identify statistically significant 'true compsets' and fair base rates dictated by the market fits incredibly well with most current RM systems.This is funny but we converted b2b tech into b2c implementation and now it has developed a significant demand on the b2b market again - we currently talking to a few leading RMS provides, they wish to use our API to do 'reality checks' of the in-house produced forecast.How robust is your data and solution?Our B2C app has been up and running since last April - we have been able to prove the concept very successfully.And we provide some simplified explanations to illustrate how we evaluate each deal.For example, look at the accompanying screenshot from Deal Angel. To prove that The Bentley London is a great deal at $305, we provide a few hotels which are normally priced almost exactly the same but today happen to be much more expensive.Our API also includes same compset data to prove the forecast. Also the sheer number of data points collected on a daily basis for arrival dates far into the future for EACH hotel make the model extremely robust from a statistical perspective.I'm skeptical an "out-of-the-box" API could be one-size-fits-all. DealAngel bases its fair market rate calculation on what the hotel has been repeatedly communicating regarding where it typically belongs in the market.This is an overall assessment of the hotel's competitive positioning based on a large number of data points, just as TripAdvisor provides an overall assessment of the hotel quality based on many user reviews.And just as TripAdvisor ratings are useful for hotel sites big and small, so are the DealAngel ratings.Whether you are a large OTA or a small destination oriented site you will hugely benefit from knowing what is a true fair monetary value of rooms your selling.Is this a pivot? Not at all. DealAngel plans to continue building a B2C brand, to run alongside the B2B solution. They are complimentary.Is your goal to have B2B generating the majority of your revenue by this time next year? Our goals is to establish ourselves in the marketplace, and add value in the best way we can. We'll see which channel offers a greater revenue opportunity - we are a startup! :)What kind of staffing changes have you had to make to prepare for this?Coming from inside the industry, we feel we are very well equipped for the B2B game. And we are considering taking onboard a hospitality technology sales pro.People interested in details about the API or about careers can email the company.