Portugal: HiJiffy, a company that specialises in conversational artificial intelligence for hotels, has announced that it has raised €3.8 million in funding.
The funding round was led by Caixa Capital and elevates the amount of investment raised by the company to date to €6.2 million. Caixa Capital was joined by Lince Capital, as well as Portugal Ventures, which had already invested in HiJiffy back in 2020.
In addition to the €2.5 million invested by the venture capital companies, €1.3 million was granted by the European Commission through the Recovery and Resilience Plan [RRP] within the scope of the ‘Accelerate and Transform Tourism‘ agenda, a project composed by 30 leading companies in the tourism sector in Portugal.
The investment will allow the company to enhance and strengthen its presence in the UK, as well as to expand into the DACH region [German, Austrian and Swiss markets]. In addition, HiJiffy will scale its team from 30 to more than 50 employees and launch a new product that promises to “revolutionise” the way in which hotels interact with their guests.
HiJiffy CEO Tiago Araújo said: “Having the United Kingdom, France, Portugal and Spain as our main markets, we currently have over 1,800 hotels in more than 50 countries.”
Araújo continued: “The steep growth of HiJiffy in the UK, where we have been actively present since 2021, working with names like Macdonald Hotels & Resorts or Exclusive Collection, reinforces our confidence to continue expanding our local structures and developing specific solutions for British hoteliers. In the coming months, we will enhance our efforts to assure market leadership.”
In line with the strategy to establish itself as the leading provider of conversational artificial intelligence for hotels in Europe, HiJiffy said that it was committed to making a strong entry into the German, Swiss and Austrian markets.
To support its growth, HiJiffy plans to hire 20 professionals by the end of the year, with several open vacancies in the areas of product, sales, marketing, customer support and human resources.
Last month, the company introduced a brand refresh, which has remained unchanged since its creation in 2016.
Araújo said: “This brand refresh was inevitable to take HiJiffy to the next level. Combining our innovative DNA with a premium brand, we will be able to differentiate ourselves even more, an essential factor to ensure that we continue to achieve annual growth above 100 per cent.”
In December, HiJiffy launched what it claimed to be the first voice assistant specialised in hospitality, and in March, the company unveiled “the first hotel chatbot powered by GPT-4”, which uses the power of generative artificial intelligence to handle guest enquiries and requests with accuracy and automation.