A new reservation system for hotels’ meeting rooms has launched promising to double occupancy rates.
Okanda has raised over £1million in seed funding and has launched initially in the UK and Germany ahead of further international markets.
It claims that by offering a streamlined room booking process, it can increase occupancy by between 30% and 60%.
A group of experience hospitality professionals are behind the new business.
Dirk Führer, chief executive of Okanda, who was previously chief commercial officer of the Steigenberger Hotel Group, said:
“We are very excited about the unveiling of our revolutionary system and we know from first-hand experience that hoteliers will be liberated from a very time-consuming and frustrating process.
“Okanda removes a lot of the antiquated barriers encountered when booking a small meeting room, such as long-winded request for proposals, and equally helps hoteliers increase occupancy and build incremental revenue in a traditionally difficult to manage area.
“Furthermore, Okanda frees up resources and broadens hoteliers’ meeting inventory to not only better serve their existing customers, but also to attract new ones.”
Okanda claims that data shows meeting rooms are only in use 30% of the time in the UK hotel market, where there are over 10,000 such rooms that can seat up to 50 people. It estimates the market to be worth approximately £40 billion a year.
The Okanda online portal, provides a back-office functionality, with a user-friendly dashboard.
The founders claim to have a “strong understanding of the pain points associated with meeting room bookings”.
Führer, who has also held commercial positions at Hilton Worldwide, Rezidor Hotel Group and Starwood Hotels and Resorts, added:
“Okanda is the platform for the modern hotelier to both manage and promote meeting room availability.
“We want to work with the whole spectrum of hoteliers to increase their occupancy to exceed 60%, and are also keen to simplify the booking experience in order to make it more efficient and user friendly.”
Okanda is backed by two leading German banks, KfW and NRW.BANK. Hoteliers interested can pre-register for the service through the pre-launch page.