Impala, the future API of the hotel industry

A single API to connect hotel data from all over the world – that’s the goal of the Impala startup. With a recent $20 million financing round, the company looks set to take on the challenge of making hotel data easily accessible to third-party platforms. With the digitalization of tourism, Impala seems to be a really innovative solution. Zoom on this start-up that is successfully climbing the ladder.

« A single API to connect to many Hotel Systems »

Founded in 2016 by Ben Stephenson and Charles Cowley, Impala aims to facilitate interaction with hotel data. Indeed, via its API, the London-based start-up aims to enable developers to connect to a large number of hotel systems. The objective: Standardize and modernize hotel management. And this by means of gateways known as legacy systems.

Legacy systems, what are they?

Defined as a system or software that continues to be used in an organization while more modern systems exist, legacy systems are often very expensive to maintain or rehabilitate. Because they are rarely replaced, developers in charge of PMS, Property Management Systems, must constantly integrate new functionalities in order to connect all hotel systems. For example, PMS allows replacing the use of Excel spreadsheets, for example. Or to ensure better customer follow-up from the CRS (Central Reservation System). The objective: First, to increase productivity by allowing more advanced and efficient management, with a lower risk of errors. And, at the same time, to strengthen the loyalty rate via the information collected.

The advantage of these systems: No more need to integrate additional functionality, sometimes from different suppliers. These functionalities, although useful, weigh down the system more than anything else. And that’s where Impala comes in. As an example, we want to know how many rooms are available in several different hotels. Using the Impala API, we can simply search through all the partner hotels. A tool that makes it easier to manage several hotels or to create platforms that interact with the hotels.

Impala, the new revolution in E-tourism

With the first round of financing of $11 million in Series A in October 2019 and the second round in February 2020 of $20 million in Series B, the British company now has the optimal financial resources for its development. Indeed, Impala plans to create a new API for hotel room reservations. To date, hotels store their booking data in dedicated booking sites such as Booking or Expedia, or channel managers. The latter acts as an intermediary that sends the information to several websites at the same time.

By going through the Impala API, it would reduce the barriers to Booking and Expedia’s competitors. With a higher number of competitors, these platforms would be forced to reduce the cost of commissions and the prices for end customers. This will have the effect of extending the offer of companies that do not sell hotel services. It is particularly the case for websites organizing conferences or festivals. This would make the user experience more enjoyable. Indeed, the visitor will be able to book both his ticket and his overnight stay. This is done via the integration of the Impala API directly on the event site.

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