Worktopia, a New York-based online booking engine for meeting space in hotels, airport lounges and other venues, has raised $5 million in Series A funding. DFJ Gotham Ventures led the deal, and was joined by Milestone Venture Partners and High Peaks Venture Partners.
Worktopia ( www.worktopia.com ), the first direct online booking engine for meeting space in hotels, airport lounges and other venues, today announced that it has completed a $5 million financing from a syndicate led by New York-based DFJ Gotham Ventures and including Milestone Venture Partners and High Peaks Venture Partners.
Worktopia will deploy the additional capital to drive expansion of its network of hotel partners, to build on its foundation of corporate travel distribution relationships and to extend its leadership position. Worktopia is the first service to allow meeting planners to search, compare and book meeting space, equipment and simple catering online in real-time, a $24 billion market that has until now been conducted over the telephone.
“We identified DFJ Gotham Ventures as an ideal lead investor because of their broad network, highly relevant operational experience and the enthusiasm of its principals,” stated John Arenas, CEO and Founder of Worktopia. Arenas added, “We are pleased to have attracted such an experienced group of New York-based venture capitalists.” Concurrent with the financing, Jed Katz of DFJ Gotham and Ethan Ayer of Milestone have joined the company's board of directors. High Peaks' Brad Svrluga will be a board observer.
A service primarily designed for booking meetings of under 100 attendees, Worktopia is bringing the $24 billion small-meetings segment of the $165 billion U.S. meetings and event industry online. Widely recognized as one of the last substantial “white spaces” in the internet-enabling of the travel marketing industry, the small meetings category remains one of the largest unmanaged spend categories for businesses. Worktopia has been called the “holy grail” of small meetings procurement for its ability to let companies book meeting space, A/V, catering and group room-nights online for the first time. Worktopia offers meeting space in full service and limited service hotels, conference centers, business centers and even airline club lounges, allowing corporate meeting planners, agents and administrative assistants to instantly find meeting space to meet any budget or space requirement in over 1,800 U.S. properties.
“Worktopia has established itself as the clear leader in addressing this large and under-served market,” said Jed Katz, Managing Director of DFJ Gotham Ventures. “Eighty percent of all corporate off-site meetings are for under 100 attendees, yet the process of researching rate and availability information and comparing alternatives has been a time consuming, archaic process until now. Companies of all sizes are now using Worktopia to achieve shorter planning lead times, cost savings and more visibility on spend. Meanwhile, Worktopia supply partners get to expose their meeting room inventory to the global distribution system for the first time. Worktopia has a seasoned management team with deep domain experience. They have developed a proven technology platform and secured ideal corporate travel distribution partners, such as Sabre and Travelport-Worldspan, to offer a fully automated process for booking meetings.”
Worktopia is the first and only global distribution system for meeting space in hotels, conference centers, airport lounges and other venues. Meeting planners can search Worktopia's database using their specific meeting facility criteria, compare live pricing proposals, check availability and even book the meeting space, A/V and catering. Worktopia's search and instant booking capability is available to agents and corporate meeting planners as a feature on most major corporate travel procurement services, as well as through its own website at www.Worktopia.com and through private label versions for United Air Lines Red Carpet Clubs, Affinia Hotels Group and others. The service also enables booking of group room-nights for a seamless, single on-line session for procuring meetings.
About DFJ Gotham Ventures
DFJ Gotham Ventures ( www.dfjgotham.com ) is a venture capital firm focused on technology companies primarily in the Greater New York Region and other parts of the Eastern Seaboard. The firm is part of the global Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) network. DFJ has a 20 year track record of investing in technology companies. Since its first investment in 2000, DFJ Gotham has backed over 25 companies spanning a wide array of technology sectors. DFJ Gotham partners with extraordinary teams of entrepreneurs to build strong and successful businesses that make a huge impact in their industries. The firm takes pride in being an active partner, leveraging its experience, knowledge and relationships to provide substantial value to its portfolio companies. DFJ Gotham is proud to have backed such category leaders as Massive (acquired by MSFT), XOsoft (acquired by CA), Q-Link (acquired by Adobe), Mimeo.com and ContextWeb.
About High Peaks Venture Partners
High Peaks Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investments in market leading, early stage technology companies. High Peaks closed its inaugural fund in 2004 and is actively investing in New York City and throughout Upstate New York, focusing primarily on companies in the digital media, internet-enabled business services, telecomm, advanced materials, and medical technology markets. High Peaks is one of 15 affiliates of Village Ventures, a nationwide network of regionally focused, early-stage venture capital funds.
About Milestone Venture Partners
Located in New York City, Milestone Venture Partners ( www.milestonevp.com ) is venture capital fund with a focus on capital efficient, technology-enhanced service businesses in the Greater New York region. Areas of expertise include media, marketing services, healthcare IT, financial services IT.