Way's foothold in the hospitality industry, $20 million Series A raise, and key leadership hires position the company for continued explosive, international growth
AUSTIN, Texas and PARIS, Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Way, the centralized software platform that helps businesses unlock the power of brand activations, today announces its expansive global launch as part of its commitment to reimagining how consumers and brands connect. This commitment is fueled by the company's $20 million Series A round led by Tiger Global, with participation from a broad range of hotel executives and ownership groups, including MSD Capital, and several new hires across Way's leadership team.
"Across the globe, consumer demand has shifted from material goods toward immersive, memorable experiences," says Way Co-Founder and CEO Michael Stocker. "Way empowers companies to leverage this change by providing the technology that makes launching and scaling meaningful activations easy to operationalize, turning them into a new revenue-driving, brand-building segment of the business."
Despite launching less than 2 years ago, Way today supports hundreds of customers throughout the world and has averaged 20% month over month growth, reaching millions in annual recurring revenue in just 18 months. Iconic independent hotels like The Little Nell in Aspen to fast-growing global luxury and lifestyle brands and management companies, such as Bunkhouse Group, Highgate Hotels, Fairmont, and Auberge Resorts, among many others, make up the growing customer base. The platform seamlessly helps these businesses curate and offer immersive experiences, local events, and brand activations such as Auberge Resorts Madeline Hotel & Residences' Day of Adventure in Moab, which includes a private flight over the Arches and Canyonlands National Park, guided whitewater rafting trip, and a chef-prepared picnic.
"Hotels are increasingly expected to go beyond providing a place to stay or dine, and to become true providers of experiences. We've always had some programming for guests and locals, but as we aspired to do more, the breadth of systems and staff resources required made delivering these experiences a challenge," said Steve Shern, General Manager at Kimpton Cottonwood, an InterContinental Hotels Group property. "Way was the one-of-a-kind solution we had been seeking for years. It's an incredibly easy to use tool to manage, market, and book our experiences all in one centralized, on-brand platform. Way has further helped to streamline operations and payments, while providing robust analytics as we continue to drive revenue and brand loyalty through experiences now in a turnkey fashion."
As Way pioneers the category of brand activation in hospitality, the company will set its sights on expansion into other adjacent consumer-facing sectors. "Hotel guests are increasingly demanding new and unique experiences, and Way's platform empowers hotels to meet this need and drive additional revenue from experiences on property and in the local destinations" said Nate Lippincott, an Investor at Tiger Global. "We're thrilled to back this talented team as they expand globally and enter adjacent categories, including retail and media where brand enhancing experiences are a key pillar of how consumers connect with businesses."
Alongside the funding, Way has added several key hires, including Matthias Berahya-Lazarus, as Managing Director for France, where the company opened its European outpost in May of 2022. Riley Graham, formerly of Blackstone Real Estate, also joins Way as VP of Strategy & Operations, and Jacquelyn DeBonville Styles as Head of Customer Success. The new team will focus on supporting Way's growing network of customers and development of go-to-market plans as Way continues to lead the introduction of brand activation technology to companies across the globe.
Founded in May of 2020, Way is a venture-backed technology company that offers a centralized software platform to manage the brand activations that make guest experiences incredible. With its global headquarters in Austin, Texas and European headquarters in Paris, France, the company closed a $20 million Series A in just 18 months while supporting hundreds of hotels throughout the world. Leading brands, independent hotels, and management companies like Highgate Hotels, The Little Nell, Auberge Resorts, AutoCamp, Fairmont, and countless others leverage Way to drive revenue and build brand loyalty through activations and experiences.