TNOOZ: Keypr’s heavyweight advisors think it can unlock hotel success

Keypr is an LA-based startup that enables hotels to have mobile check-in, check-out, and a host of back-end ops. To date, the service currently has 200 properties under contract, ranging from boutique hotels to luxury resorts to select-service inns.

While this type of startup isn’t exactly rare in the hospitality industry, Keypr has one advantage: it has hospitality heavyweights advising it.

Keypr was launched three years ago by Nizar Allibhoy, Sabir Jaffer, and Mark Anderson, a trio with a mix of hospitality and tech backgrounds. Yet some of their key investors and advisors include Matt Hart, former COO of Hilton and Barney Harford, former CEO of Orbitz Worldwide and current Lola chairman.

Another supporter is Brad Korzen, the founder of the boutique brand, Viceroy Hotels. Korzen has since launched a new hospitality brand called Proper, which recently opened its first property in Hollywood, with Keypr in place.

Hotels who sign-up for Keypr’s software-as-a-service platform get four key digital services: a customized mobile app; keyless entry (enabled through the app) and digital marquees; in-room tablets that allow for online ordering of hotel services or items from third-party apps; and GEMS (guest experience management system), which is Keypr’s back office software system that is integrated with the hotel’s property management system. GEMS also benchmarks a hotel’s performance against the Keypr network, providing real-time insights.

Allibhoy, CEO of Keypr, said having hotel veterans like Hart and Korzen has helped his team shape their product for the industry, which is complex both in terms of different players and different objectives, as well as help them present it to hotels as a turn-key way to digitally satisfy their guests.

Because of their input, Allibhoy said Keypr, has been built with the hotelier in mind. “From very early on, we’ve been a SaaS business that also provides the hardware,” he said. “And we have no upfront charges like set-up fees, so that makes it easier for customers to embrace, and it’s easier for us to talk to hotels about implementing our service.”

It’s not just hotels that Keypr is going after.

Allibhoy said there’s a tremendous interest from luxury residences. (Hollywood Proper uses Keypr for its residences as well as its hotel rooms.) Allibhoy also hinted that his company is primed for other hospitality endeavors beyond hotels and residences.

Allibhoy said:

“Hospitality is a way of delivering service…. Context is almost irrelevant. Now it’s all about providing a platform through which hospitality is being delivered in an efficient manner.”

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