The head of Starwood Capital Group has made an unspecified personal investment in on-demand mobile hotels booking app HotelTonight.
Chairman and and chief executive Berry Sternlicht also joins HotelTonight as a strategic advisor.
He was chairman and chief executive of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for ten years until 2005.
Sternlicht is known for having created W Hotels, one of the world’s most successful boutique brands.
Starwood Capital Group will be launching two new hotel brands, 1 Hotels & Resorts and Baccarat Hotels & Resorts, in New York and Miami Beach later this year.
A HotelTonight spokesman said: “He’ll bring his deep understanding of design and the hospitality market to HotelTonight, as well as his network of fellow hoteliers, helping grow HotelTonight’s product offerings and ever-expanding portfolio of cities and hotels across the globe.
HotelTonight has also teamed up with 10 global hotel chains, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt, Best Western International, Kimpton, FRHI Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont, Raffles & Swissôtel brands), La Quinta, Barcelo and Steigenberger Hotel Group.
Co-founder Jared Simon said: “To have a visionary like Barry Sternlicht backing and advising HotelTonight is a powerful validation of the work the HotelTonight team and our top tier network of hotel partners have put into revolutionizing the travel industry.
“With his support and the addition of several chains to the app, we’re proving that the hotelier-distributor relationship doesn’t need to be adversarial but can actually be mutually beneficial.”
Sternlicht added: “Booking windows are shrinking and customers are going mobile, trends which position HotelTonight perfectly for the future.
“But there’s something more that attracted me – it’s that HotelTonight is proving booking by booking that both hotels and distributors can win. HotelTonight is a refreshing alternative that should become a major participant in the future of hotel distribution.”
Based in San Francisco, with a London-based European office, HotelTonight is backed by Coatue Management, top venture firms and leading travel-industry figures.