US: Guest engagement platform Akia has announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding to scale its automation technology.
California-based venture capital firm Altos Ventures led the financing with additional participation from GSR Ventures, which led the previous $1 million seed round in June 2020.
Since launching in 2019, Akia says that it has consistently achieved three times year-over-year growth, operating primarily in hospitality. According to the company, the current market conditions, ongoing labour shortage and post-pandemic impact have increased demand for its automated customer engagement framework, which helps businesses eliminate monotonous paperwork, automate processes and drive engagement to better serve consumers and increase efficiency.
Companies using Akia’s platform leverage ‘Mini Apps’ to automate and expedite day-to-day processes such as identity verification, security deposit collection, or even contactless vacation rental or hotel check-in.
Akia CEO Evan Chen said: “Securing this new round of funding from Altos is really a validation of our vision. Consumers are tired of poorly made chatbots, waiting on hold for call centres, or downloading apps for single use.
“We are committed to developing innovative products and services that help businesses respond more effectively and quickly to the changing needs of their customers,” he added.
The shift towards a contactless-first approach and the ongoing staff shortages have created a prime opportunity for Akia to make a splash in the market, according to its investors.
Jim Dai, partner at Altos Ventures, said: “Akia is paving the path for the next generation of tech-enabled services. The hospitality sector has faced numerous challenges in recent years and will need a system like Akia to delight customers while improving efficiency.
“We are thrilled with Akia’s momentum and have complete confidence in its leadership and long-term vision,” he added.
Akia seeks to help both hotels, vacation rental property managers and guests by integrating with other technologies, including property management systems and hardware platforms, to enable its customers to achieve more through communication.
It also helps managers and guests by:
• Streamlining arrival workflows with mobile-friendly, interactive welcome books
• Letting guests sign rental agreements, sending property maps when they are ready for arrival, as well as door codes and wifi information when they arrive at the front door
• Automating goest interaction with scheduled actions and dynamically populating correct instructions to guests depending on their location