Australian startup Local Measure has raised $4.5 million and will open in Dubai, Los Angeles

Photo: Venturelli/ Getty Images.

Tourism technology startup Local Measure has announced a successful capital-raising round of $4.5 million, as well as plans to open Dubai and Los Angeles offices.

The Sydney company provides hotels and theme parks with what it calls “social customer intelligence” — real-time data tools that allow hospitality staff to intervene before a problem arises, in order to develop client loyalty and avoid bad online reviews.

The $4.5 million was sourced from private investors, funds and equity firms spread across the Asia-Pacific region, but no further details were disclosed. The latest round brings the total investment amount to $15 million.

“Customer loyalty is seen as a ‘holy grail’ for hotels and tourism brands, yet to date the industry has generally been unable to capture the data and preferences, in real-time, that customers share during their journey, missing an incredible opportunity to drive loyalty,” said Local Measure founder and chief executive Jonathan Barouch.

The startup already has an impressive client portfolio, with names like AccorHotels, Hardrock, Qantas and Club Med currently on-board. The system is present in more than 380 cities globally, according to the company, and forecasts it will be in more than 1,000 hotels in the United States this year.

Local Measure also announced that a sales office would open this month in the tourist hub of Dubai, while a Los Angeles branch would launch within the current quarter. The company already has a presence in Sydney, Singapore, London and Miami.

Barouch said that Local Measure’s technology “finally” provides hospitality staff with a way to use social media data to “positively impact guest experiences”.

“Local Measure’s location-based technology is tailor-made for hotels and tourism brands, providing end-to-end product features to promote gathering accurate, real-time intelligence,” he said.

“It is fully automated, easy to integrate, and low cost – helping hotels connect and engage with guests and deliver a fully personalised guest experience at scale.”

The advisory board includes executives from tech giants Google, SAP and Salesforce. Google sales and operations vice president and Local Measure advisory board member Alan Moss said that the Australian venture’s social media intelligence platform is the basis for a successful business.

“With tremendous growth potential in the US and among hotel brands worldwide, the company will scale even more quickly in 2017, and I look forward to continued good news in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Local Measure claims to have grown its revenue by 150% year-on-year, while last year the company won the Emerging Innovator Award at the Phocuswright travel technology conference in Los Angeles.

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