Startup Aims To Transform Hotel Industry

By Michael Hinkelman
Philadelphia Daily News.

PHILADELPHIA

Adria Bagdonavicius, 26, of Philadelphia, is co-founder and CEO of PurpleCloud Technologies. Founded in 2011, it has developed a software platform that helps hotels enhance the productivity of their workforces. The technology streams real-time information to hotel staff and analyzes data to assist management in strategic decision-making.

Q: How’d you come up with the idea?

A: I worked at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott as part of my co-op at Drexel University and noticed that they used outdated software, and staff was running around with two-way radios and paper reports. Whenever I worked in a different department, I found they blamed others for dropping the ball on guest requests.

Q: The startup money?

A: I got $50,000 from friends and family, and we did a pilot at the Rittenhouse Hotel (a high-end hotel in Philadelphia). Two angel investors from Philadelphia and one from Atlanta later gave us an additional $100,000.

Q: What’s the biz do?

A: We have a software-as-a-service platform that can run on a smartphone, tablet or PC. It streams real-time data to all hotel staff. We had the first two-way integration in the U.S. with the largest hotel-property-management-systems company, MICROS. We pull room status and guest information and send it to everyone who needs it. Instead of knocking on doors, a housekeeper can see in real time when somebody has checked out, clean a room and update the status in the computer system so supervisors know it’s ready for inspection.

Q: The biz model?

A: We charge a licensing fee of about $5 per room per month, but we do volume discounts for larger hotels.

Q: The value prop?

A: We take all the chatter and movement on our platform and do data analytics for clients. We can tell how often a hotel runs out of washcloths. Should they rethink their relationship with their supplier? Maybe we notice a lot of lightbulbs are out and we suggest they buy different bulbs because it will save time, money, energy costs. In our pilot, we identified more than $90,000 in cost savings, from increased efficiency to productivity.

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