RateGain Acquires BCV, Gains Momentum in Hotel Tech Consolidation

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Travel tech firm RateGain has acquired BCV, a Chicago-based social media management and strategy company focused on the hotel sector.

The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the deal.

BCV has more than 100 employees that help thousands of hotels create content for social media platforms and cope with negative messages. BCV also creates and runs social marketing campaigns for brands such as Fontainebleau.

The deal probably won’t be the last acquisition for RateGain, which is looking to consolidate the greater hospitality technology space.

“We will accelerate our M&A,” said Bhanu Chopra, founder and CEO of RateGain. Last year the company, based in Noida, India, acquired Dallas-based hotel distribution tech company DHISCO, which stands for the Distribution Hospitality Intelligent Systems Co.

“Our goal is to create an array of capabilities,” said Chopra. “We plan to roll up other hotel tech companies.

In 2015 RateGain received a minority investment from private equity firm TA Associates that amounted to $50 million according to reports at the time. The private equity firm still backs the company, which is considering seeking a venture capital round.

Chopra said he takes inspiration from how more than a decade ago enterprise resource planning companies like Oracle and SAP rolled together disparate systems for accounting, finance, and supply for many corporations. He said the hotel industry similarly needs to weave together software that manages a variety of operations.

More than 125,000 properties use RateGain’s array of services worldwide.

Chopra said he found BCV appealing as an acquisition because the firm had analyzed many social profiles.

He expects BCV to more intensively match data that hotels have collected on guests with the information that guests volunteer about themselves on social media. The goal will be to log what some customers are saying and to use that information to help provide more relevant service.

“We’ll complement the capabilities of the typical hotel CRM [customer relationship management system] and make the data richer for smarter marketing,” said Chopra.

BCV faces competition, though. Hyp3r, for example, offers location-based marketing for clients such as Marriott International.

RateGain faces multiple rivals, too, in the sense that many industry players have been acquiring companies to provide an array of services to hoteliers, such as Amadeus, Sabre, Shiji, Accel-KKR-backed Travel Tripper, and Jonas Software.