Bangalore-based startup Survaider, a plug and play SaaS solution that aggregates customer comments across social media, email, phone calls and feedback forms, has acquired more than 300 hotel clients since its 2016 launch.
The company’s 16-strong team services hotels across 60 cities in India as well as in the Middle East and Europe.
Cofounder and CTO Madhulika Mukherjee said:
“Most of our customers are in the value segment, uniformly spread across business and leisure properties. When a guest is booking a value hotel, she’s more concerned about what the hotel will look like and if she will receive the basic amenities for the price that she’s paying. So the reviews and rating become extremely important for a sales point of view.”
Earlier this year, the startup raised USD$500,000, a round co-led by Axilor Ventures – which also contributed to funding in 2016 — and the Chennai Angels, with participation from other angel investors.
This current round of funding is earmarked for product enhancements as well as expansion into other verticals and additional markets in India and beyond.
More granularly, Mukherjee explained that the company wants to improve its language capabilities, making the algorithm more contextual. “We want to be able to deeply understand patterns of data and drive insights relevant to the hotel type, geography and time,” said the CTO, elaborating that the information would have applications for business or leisure-centric hotels, off-season and peak season as well as beachside properties or those with mountain locations.
From a market standpoint, investment will go toward scaling operations across the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, which Mukherjee described as “still majorly untapped.”
The recent funding will also expand the verticals where Survaider currently operates to include restaurant chains, food tech businesses and hospital groups.
In the meantime, Survaider has been measuring success not simply in the number of clients that the company onboards, but also in the implications that its data has had for each hotel that the startup works with. “The main focus for us is to make it extremely easy and intuitive for businesses to use this data to drive real-world actions,” Mukherjee further pointed out.
Amassing guest feedback in a single location and in real time enables better communication with guests while highlighting recurring operational issues and directing that feedback to relevant hotel staff.
Unlocking insights from Survaider’s aggregated data has also aided hotels in directly improving revenues. After discovering its properties ranked lower than its competitive set on a particular OTA, one Survaider client focused on that channel, specifically asking guests booking through the site to leave reviews. The feedback was viable and enabled the property to improve their rankings with the OTA, thus improving property revenues from that channel in a matter of months.
Elsewhere,Survaider data informed a branded chain client that one property’s staff ratings were consistently lower than all other properties in its portfolio. The information lead to an employee exchange program whereby staff from the highest ranked properties spent two weeks on-site at the hotel in question and vice versa. The result was a meaningful increase in staff ratings for the underperforming hotel while the exercise became a quarterly practice thereafter.
“Businesses have been able to use our data to transform their customer experience and increase revenues as part of their operational activities, without incurring any huge investments.”