In a world where many people tend to value complexity, a Portuguese startup is scaling the ladder of simplicity to paint a new landscape for hotel revenue management while aspiring to leave a worthwhile legacy for the hospitality industry.
“We have the fastest and easiest-to-use revenue management system in the market, and our interface is, in my opinion, distinctive,” Mário Mouraz, founder and CEO of Climber RMS, told Via News in an exclusive interview.
Climber, which was launched in April 2016, is on a mission to help independent hotels around the world optimize their revenue management strategies and “sell the right room to the right customer at the right time, at the right price, and through the right reservation channel.”
Mário has ascended Mount Damavand—the highest peak in the Middle East at 5,609 meters—and the name of the company reflects its founders’ passion for climbing. They want to take hotels on an expedition where they would notch up a climb in revenues.
Filling the Gap
Coming from an academic background in hospitality management, Mário had founded two startups before starting his journey at Climber, and the idea for his third venture came from his interactions with hotels.
“My first project was Travel With Mario, which was a travel website selling digital travel guides for European cities, namely Barcelona, London, and Lisbon,” he said of his 2013 attempt at entering the world of entrepreneurship.
“The goal was to help travelers that use their mobile phones to get access to information about where to visit from a local perspective.”
A year later, Mário founded Trip Dashboard as he sought to help hotels optimize their offerings through an online dashboard with a graphical representation of tourism-related indicators in real-time.
“We were speaking with hoteliers every day, especially the ones in charge of revenue management, and we found out that they needed information that they didn’t have at that time. So we decided to not only give them that information but to go a step further and automate whatever they would do with that information, which, in our case, was to change the prices of hotels, the sales channels, and some other sales-related aspects of their business.”
Mário says Climber, which is an answer to those needs, not only is a price recommendation engine for hotels but also automatically sends optimized prices across different channels such as Booking.com or Expedia.
“We have the fastest and easiest-to-use revenue management system in the market.”Mário Mouraz, founder and CEO of Climber RMS
According to their website, Climber’s revenue management system uses algorithms to generate reliable price recommendations to help hotels maximize their revenues, save time, become more efficient, identify revenue growth opportunities, gain an insight into their future needs, keep an eye on their competitors, and gain a competitive edge while reducing risks and costs.
It fully runs on the cloud environment so there is no need for users to install anything locally and their data is “always secure and accessible”.
Unlike other software solutions that are complicated and require “expensive training”, it “only takes an afternoon” to get started with Climber.
Mário believes that this is what makes their initiative stand out among even formidable international competitors.
“Our clients say the solution is fast and easy to use, makes their life super easy, is generating a high return on their investment in the app, and is saving them a lot of time,” he said when asked about the feedback they have received so far.
Climber is based in Lisbon to be closer to its national clients but the nature of its system has helped them earn the trust of many international hotels in different countries as well.
“We have clients from Portugal, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Hungary, and Malaysia. We plan to expand further in Brazil where we want to gain a larger market share than we have now,” Mário noted, adding that they also plan to begin operating in new markets in the future.
On the added value that Climber provides to hotel guests, he said, “We help hotels offer suitable prices that guests are willing to pay because it can be quite frustrating for them if hotels charge them a flat price throughout the year, whether it is high season or low season.”
Mário explained that Climber raised €100,000 in July 2016 in its first round of funding, or the angel round. “After that, we raised two other rounds of funding. The second round was €350,000 euros and it was a pre-seed investment. In the seed round, we raised €550,000.”
To fulfill its vision of “democratizing” revenue management, the company has launched an “Academy” initiative, through which it provides training to all clients across all relevant departments so that they can make the best of Climber’s revenue management system.
According to Mário, they offer training content in the form of text and video to enable hoteliers to gain a better understanding of how the software works and how they can extract more value from it.
“Most hotels have high employee rotation and it was difficult for us and them to keep new employees informed of how they can use the software tool. So we created Climber Academy to make this job easier.”
Climber has also partnered with some of the best hospitality schools and universities all over the world, giving their students the opportunity to “learn directly with our platform, with tailored exercises and real-world problems and solutions”.