GuruHotel

The Ultimate E-commerce Platform for Hotels

10+ Employees
Multiple Founders
Founders Code
B2B
SaaS
Travel

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August 4, 2020 How we sold $300K using a WP-theme for hotels

Hi Indie Hackers!

I joined Indie Hackers 2 years ago. And I read your inspiring stories, learnings and experiences building, launching, and crashing products and startups.

So, I want to share our story. We started with a WP Theme trying to prove our thesis, official hotel websites sucks! And with a better website, more payment methods, and improving photos and content, we can sell more rooms directly, increasing revenue for hotels.

In July 2019, a year ago, we built our first MVP. We begin renewing old websites with our WP Theme, seeing a significant increase in direct bookings.

One of our first customers, a boutique hotel in Baja California, agreed to shut down a “legacy” website -provided by one of the big players in our industry. They were processing around USD 5000 per year in direct bookings at that time, and with our GuruHotel website, they reached USD 60K revenue in just six months. Since then, we sold USD 300,000 on direct bookings using a WP-theme we built for hotels.

Our MVP: https://casonadelsol.com/en/ (WP-Theme)

In December 2019, we applied to Y Combinator and they accepted us in the Winter 2020 batch.
. We were super excited about one of the biggest acceleration programs investing USD 150,000 in GuruHotel. By the way, we also funded $150,000 USD from our savings. (We are indie hackers)

Since the acceleration program, we realized that WordPress would not be enough to scale our business, so we started building GuruHotel from scratch.

And now we have a self-onboarding platform built in less than four months, as soon as we started our Y Combinator acceleration program. Now hotels can create and launch their websites, use their domains, and connect with the distribution channels, as quickly as starting a Shopify store.

Our Product V1.0: https://www.maglenresort.com/

As thousands of independent hotels struggle to survive these days, titans like Booking.com and Expedia are bleeding out their profits with 20-40% in commissions. To stay alive, hotels have few options. They can offer their rooms on Online Travel Agencies, giving away their independence and losing contact with their customers.

Or they can create their websites and start a painful way, looking for agencies, designers, developers, marketers, and launching their marketing campaigns using Google or Facebook Ads.

We are launching rockets to space thanks to Elon, but we cannot help SMBs compete with ecommerce titans. Is this fair for independent hotels?

We believe it’s not. And fortunately, things have changed.

If anyone wants to apply to Y Combinator, have a hotel, or want to help us build the best ecommerce experience for a guest or traveler, please tell me. Happy to connect with you.

October 8, 2019 We reached our first 150,000 USD

We reached our first 125,000 USD sold by OTAS (Online Travel Agencies) where are connected all our 8 hotel partners and 25,000 USD sold by our direct channel, built by US!

Our next milestone is $500,000 USD sold by all our channels and 25 hotels, we are looking to close this year with 50 hotel partners.

March 1, 2019 We setup a great team

We did our first hires with professionals in the revenue management field in Mexico, we invited our first key hire to join our team and she said YES!

Is really important to us to have professional revenue managers because we are moving all this knowledge from hotel chains to small hotel owners and property managers.

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