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02/24/2022

Canary Technologies Raises $15 Million to Modernize the Hotel Tech Stack, Accelerate Growth and Global Market Penetration

The company will use the new funding to continue hiring aggressively to meet growing demand and to invest in product development as it expands the breadth of its offerings.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Canary Technologies, which is modernizing the hotel tech stack with a fully mobile web end-to-end Guest Management System, announced that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by F-Prime Capital (the global venture capital firm affiliated with FMR, LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments), with participation from Y Combinator, Thayer Ventures, Commerce Ventures, Acronym Capital, and Gokul Rajaram. This brings the company’s total fundraising to date to $17M.

The company will use the new funding to continue hiring aggressively to meet growing demand for its solutions, which streamline operations, improve the guest experience, and provide hoteliers with new revenue streams as the travel industry experiences a post-pandemic resurgence. Canary will also invest in product development as it expands the breadth of its offerings.

Canary got its start with the launch of its Digital Authorizations solution in 2018, and has since expanded its solutions to cover all hospitality guest management from post-booking through checkout. Fast-growing Canary already works with thousands of hotels in more than 65 countries including notable brands such as Four Seasons, Choice Hotels, Standard Hotels, and Ace Hotel Group. The company has grown revenue 2-3x per year since its launch, and has processed more than 5M reservations.

“Our mission is to help hoteliers deliver the best guest experience possible and remain competitive in the evolving lodging landscape,” said Harman Singh Narula, Co-founder of Canary Technologies. “In recent years, hotels have found themselves facing a new set of competitors who are better equipped from a technology perspective. That combined with the pandemic has fueled a digital transformation in the industry. We’re excited by the impact our solutions are making for hoteliers and will utilize the additional capital to support our hotel partners and accelerate growth.”

“The hospitality industry is still rife with antiquated paper-based processes,” said Gaurav Tuli, Partner at F-Prime Capital. “Harman and SJ’s extensive hospitality and tech experience made them uniquely qualified to build a platform to help digitize nearly every aspect of guest management, and help hotels boost revenue while improving the guest experience. The pandemic greatly accelerated demand for Canary’s solutions, and we’re excited about their vision for modernizing the hotel tech stack.”

According to IBIS, the global hotel market is a $1T industry, and according to Hospitality Technology Magazine, hoteliers spend 2-3% of revenue on technology annually - resulting in a $20-30B market for hospitality tech.

“Over the past year, Canary’s incredible team has worked closely with our hotel partners and executed on our roadmap to help solve some of hospitality’s biggest challenges,” said SJ Sawhney, Co-founder of Canary Technologies. “We have had the privilege of supporting our hotel partners with critical and reliable technology and will continue to support our partners with the necessary solutions for them to provide the best guest experience possible.”

Canary’s current solutions include:

  • Canary Contactless Check-in & Checkout: Provides hotels with the ability to seamlessly check-in guests without exchanging credit cards, IDs or registration forms. Canary’s solution reduces the time required for check-in and checkout from 10 minutes to less than one minute, without the need to visit the front desk at all.
  • Canary Upsells: Allows hotels to offer upgrades and add-on amenities to guests from the time of booking all the way through checkout - resulting in thousands of dollars of new revenue a week. Hotels using Canary Upsells have seen a 40% increase in ancillary revenue.
  • Canary Digital Authorizations: A secure PCI Level-1 compliant authorization solution that replaces arcane paper third-party authorization forms and prevents chargebacks and fraud.
  • Canary Guest Messaging: Enables front desk and concierge teams to easily communicate with hotel guests at scale, saving valuable time through automated, broadcast and direct messages.

Canary was founded by childhood friends Narula and Sawhney, who both bring years of experience in hospitality and technology. Narula was previously a member of the Global Strategy Group at Starwood Hotels and Resorts and a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he advised senior executives in hospitality and technology. He is a graduate of the renowned Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to co-founding Canary, Sawhney led product and technology at Stayful, a booking platform for independent and boutique hotels founded by the former president of Hotels.com. Sawhney is a serial entrepreneur, having successfully founded multiple venture-backed technology companies over the prior decade. He is a graduate of Columbia University.