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 $24B 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. Mr. 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 $24B small-meetings segment of the $165B US 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, AV, 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 US properties.
Worktopia has established itself as the clear leader in addressing this large and un-served market, said Jed Katz, Managing Director of DFJ Gotham Ventures. 80% 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, and has developed a proven technology platform and the 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.