Hijiffy’s seed round of 1M€ by Portugal Ventures is announced after an exponential company growth since January (+115%) and being selected as one of the world’s most innovative solutions in tourism by the World Tourism Organization.
HiJiffy’s innovative solution allows hotels to centralize, automate, and measure all customer service activities, using Artificial Intelligence. It includes a virtual assistant for pre-reservation contacts, available in 100 languages; and a virtual concierge that simplifies communication between the hotel and its guests during their stay. Guests can easily check-in or schedule specific services such as SPA or transfers through WhatsApp, for example.
Pestana, S. Hotels Collection, Mama Shelter, Finn Lough, Bahia Príncipe Hotels, or Turismo of Portugal are just some of HiJiffy’s clients. Since January, the company has already grown 115% — and it was not by chance. Despite all the uncertainty that the pandemic generated in the hotel sector, it proved the need to accelerate the technological revolution in the sector.
“The digital transformation of hotels has become inevitable. At this point, ensuring an immediate response to a request for information or digitizing processes during the stay (such as check-in or service requests) while maintaining the same quality of service, is absolutely crucial. Hijiffy is the solution that allows it.”, states Tiago Araújo, HiJiffy’s CEO.
At the Finn Lough Luxury Resort, Hijiffy’s solution generated “a huge increase in valuable interactions (around 94% of automation), boosting the team’s productivity without increasing the workload”, says Michael Beare, Finn Lough’s director. For Clarisse Rodrigues, Head of Direct Reservations & Customer Service at Pestana Group, the metrics she can now access were game-changing. “With Hijiffy’s solution it is way easier to understand where and how we can improve our customer service”, she explains.
This year alone, HiJiffy has won two relevant innovation awards (the third edition of the EmpreendedorXXI Awards and the 2020 Innovative Solution Award from the World Tourism Organization). Recently, we also secured a partnership with the market leader Triptease, taking over their AI-powered chatbot and, therefore, accessing more than 800 hotels spread all over the world.
Now, HiJiffy just closed a seed round of €1M euros, with Portugal Ventures. Rui Ferreira, Vice President of Portugal Ventures, says that “at the present time, it is essential to support innovative technological solutions that help the most traditional sectors of Tourism, such as Hospitality, to deal with the challenges of this pandemic and to be prepared for the new forms of hotel experience. Investing in HiJiffy is the same as enhancing the digital transformation of the Tourism sector, leveraging the creation of technological goods and services. The results that HiJiffy managed to achieve in such a troubled time for the sector gives the team confidence to achieve its international expansion goals.”
New markets and an all-in-one Marketing solution
Hijiffy is already present in more than 1400 hotels and 30 countries. However, the plan is far more ambitious. “We are very thankful for the results we’re having after 4 years of hard work. There’s no doubt HiJiffy is revolutionizing the way hotels communicate with guests by simplifying and adding intelligence to the whole process, but this is not even half of what we’re trying to accomplish.”, says Tiago, HiJiffy’s CEO. The new financing round will allow HiJiffy to consolidate its presence in strategic markets, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, or France; and continue to develop the product to integrate new communication channels.
“Up to now, many hotels have been resistant to implementing technological solutions to streamline communication, with the excuse that it removes personalization. Our all-in-one marketing solution will allow them to add intelligence to the communication process and do highly targeted campaigns by contacting guests with the right message at the right time. There is no more personalized than that”, explains Tiago.
“There is no longer any doubt that we are helping hotels to deal with this pandemic, but this investment round will enable us to continue to help them to face the challenges of the next 10, 20, or 30 years. We are going to be an absolutely fundamental part of hotel marketing and the only necessary solution to manage all the communication with guests”, the CEO concludes.
HiJiffy was founded in 2016 by Tiago Araújo, José Mendonça, and Pedro Gonçalves. After only four years, It is used daily by more than 1400 hotels, in 30 countries. This year only, HiJiffy’s virtual assistant has interacted with more than 600 000 guests. If you want to know more about how to improve your Customer Care, check our website, and book a personalized demo. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
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