Traveltech start-up Criton Apps has secured a £5m investment, following a number of high profile customer wins. Criton, which offers a self-build guest app service to hotels and serviced apartments, landed the new funds from a private investor to accelerate the company’s growth as it looks to expand overseas.

Set up just under a year ago with personal funds and a Scottish Enterprise grant, Criton’s software moves all guest-facing information on to a mobile app, which is seen as the next step for the travel industry to keep pace with today’s digital savvy traveller.

The app combines destination guides, guest and property management information. Deals with affiliate technology companies, Loop and Bubbl, also mean that the Criton app’s functionality includes geo-fencing, or location based offers and promotions, and in-stay or in-app messaging.

As an ‘on-device’ technology that stays with the guest, it offers greater advantages over in-room technologies that do not have that mobility or flexibility.

Edinburgh hotel, The Chester Residence, and serviced apartments, The Knight Residence, are Criton clients – a list that also includes hotels and travel destinations in America, Australia, Portugal and Germany. Over the summer, Auchrannie Resort and Crieff Hydro chose Criton Apps.

The new investment will allow Criton to boost staff numbers to more than 30 in two years with sales bases planned for London and the Middle East scheduled to open early next year.

Julie Grieve, founder and chief executive,  said: “We have achieved a lot in the first twelve months, both in customer sign-ups and awareness. Our app-builder offers independent hotels a guest facing technology which rivals anything offered by chains such as Hilton and Marriott and we are making an impact.

“This is a sector, however, where it is important to move fast and this investment will allow us to take Criton to the next level with more staff and an international sales team

“We believe the future of travel and hospitality tech is on the guest’s own device, where they can use their own phone or tablet to check-in, access their room and operate in-room appliances using the power of the Internet of Things.

“In-room devices are used briefly, if at all, during the guest stay because they want to use their own device both in room and when out and about. What’s more, our technology is available to independent hotels and small chains making it possible for them to offer guest facing technology that is world class.

“We now have the foundations and the funds in place to meet our growth ambitions. It is an exciting time.”
Adrian Bell at Morton Fraser acted for Information Apps Ltd.