Hotel Data Cloud (HDC) has been awarded AED 50,000 (US$13,615) by Intelak for best pitch, and has been selected for both Intelak Incubator’s Cohort 5, and the Sheraa Series A programme (both are UAE-based startup accelerators).

HDC is a global platform that aims to change the way hotels access and manage their information across booking channels; it is one of just four startups chosen for the Intelak Incubator, now in its fifth cohort. After presenting to Intelak’s committee members, HDC was awarded AED 50,000 for the best pitch and accepted into the programme, which received more than 100 applicants.

The Intelak Incubator is led by the Emirates Group, GE, and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in partnership with hosting partner, Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec).

Intelak programme manager Mia Jafari said in a statement: "We were impressed by Hotel Data Cloud’s track record and are excited to support their ambitious plans for future growth. Tourism has played a pivotal role in Dubai’s rise to prominence and Hotel Data Cloud can support this important industry with a crucial service for the distribution process.”

HDC has also been chosen for the Sheraa Series A Programme which helps digital startups achieve key milestones along their journey of growth. Sheraa’s Series A is an intensive three-month programme where only 10 firms are invited to join each round.

Sheraa venture associate Hisham Akhtar noted: "Hotel Data Cloud bridges the gap between hotels and content distribution channels, putting hotels in control of their property descriptions and images. With the hospitality industry being one of the biggest industries in the world, it is still the least tech-enabled. This innovative solution disrupts the market and has high growth opportunities, which makes us very proud and excited to have them join our Series A cohort.”

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By 2022, nearly 50% of all hotel booking revenues are projected to be online, and an even higher share of short-term rentals. According reports, the global online travel booking market is expected to generate $1,955bn by 2026, growing at a CAGR of around 12.1% between 2018 and 2026.

Addressing the growing need for data management solutions across all these platforms, HDC provides hospitality businesses the ability to update all of their descriptive information instantly across all third-party listings and booking channels. This saves them time, increases bookings and enables the hotels to take back control over the descriptive content that goes out to the public, even on the channels that are not directly connected to the property. It allows for a standardisation to be created for comprehensive accommodation listings, not just throughout the MENA region, but globally and across multiple platforms.

"HDC is honoured to have been selected by two of the UAE’s most prestigious business incubators and accelerators to help move our mission forward,” said Kevin Czok, managing partner of HDC, in a statement. “With the help of the Intelak Incubator and the Sheraa Series A programmes, Hotel Data Cloud will increase its recognition within the industry, develop sustainable partnerships and be prepared for a long and prosperous future. Our team is excited to learn how to be even stronger, increase our reach and recognition, and have the right strategy for growth that we expect in the next few years.” 

The incubation programme for Intelak began on February 1, and Demo Day presentations to the investor community are scheduled for April 26. The Sheraa Series A Programme starts in February and will continue for three months, culminating with a Showcase Day that is attended by a broad audience of government officials, heads of businesses and investors.