SiteMinder, the global market leader in hotel guest acquisition software, has completed a capital raise from international and Australian investors of the highest quality. The raise was led by equity funds managed by BlackRock. Other investors include AustralianSuper; Ellerston, through the Ellerston JAADE Private Assets Fund; and Pendal Group. The process was finalised in January 2020 and values SiteMinder at approximately AU$1.1 billion.
The raise follows a strong year for SiteMinder, having processed 105 million bookings through its platform for more than 35,000 hotels worldwide. The privately-owned company also surpassed AU$100 million in annual recurring revenue—80 per cent of which is generated from international markets, through both monthly subscriptions and newer transactional revenue streams.
The additional capital will be used to fuel SiteMinder’s growth and innovation, namely through accelerated go-to-market strategies and increased investments in research and development led from Sydney. The company will also further its international expansion and continue the growth of its more than 900 staff, who are located in six offices spanning Sydney, Bangkok, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila.
SiteMinder’s technology is today available in eight languages and supported with customer service in a further three. To SiteMinder’s CEO, Sankar Narayan, there has never been a more opportune time to capitalise on an online accommodation industry that has grown 11 per cent per annum over the last 15 years and still represents less than 50 per cent of all accommodation bookings.
“As the global landscape for hotel technology becomes increasingly fragmented, and remains largely unpenetrated with connected technology, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the quality of new partners we have gained to further cement our position as the global market leader, now and into the future. This investment is a strong endorsement of our growth ambitions to continue building the world’s largest and most open guest acquisition platform for hotels,” says Mr Narayan.
Michael Dennis, BlackRock’s Asia Pacific Head of Capital Markets, says, “We see the Australian private markets providing a compelling investment opportunity. We are excited about this investment and look forward to SiteMinder delivering on its growth ambitions and extending its market leadership.”
Mike Ford, Chairman and Co-Founder of SiteMinder, says, “With ever-increasing complexities online amid rising consumer choice, SiteMinder fills a necessary void for hoteliers everywhere. We are delighted to have such a wealth of expertise and experience among our shareholders, to walk the exciting path forward with us.”
Early investors of SiteMinder—including Bailador Technology Investments, Les Szekely of Equity Venture Partners, and TCV—remain strong supporters and shareholders of the company.
“The shift in consumer engagement is changing the structure of online travel,” says David Yuan, General Partner at TCV and SiteMinder board member. “We wanted to find a technology provider that could power a better consumer experience and empower hoteliers to benefit from this shift. We searched globally and found the best—SiteMinder in Australia. In working together over the years, we’ve seen SiteMinder emerge as the global powerhouse in the category, and an important franchise in online travel.”
SiteMinder was advised by UBS as financial adviser and Gilbert + Tobin as legal adviser in relation to the transaction.