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HomeTechnologyInsight Partners backs Canary Technologies’ mission to elevate hotel guest experiences

Insight Partners backs Canary Technologies’ mission to elevate hotel guest experiences

The hospitality industry is back, baby. And with it comes a chance for technology startups to not only help hotels streamline their operations, but also focus on how they can improve the guest experience.

“The predominant traveler today was born in an age where they are very comfortable with technology,” Harman Singh Narula, Canary Technologies co-founder and CEO, said. “They have expectations. For example, they want to text message the front desk instead of picking up the phone.”

And with other options available, like Airbnb, hotels are facing competition in the market — competition that is “really good at technology,” Narula said — and the hotels have to address it. 

Narula started Canary Technologies with longtime friend SJ Sawhney to provide that technology so hotels can offer better guest experiences, augmented by technology. Narula formerly worked at Starwood Hotels & Resorts and was a management consultant at Bain & Company. Sawhney, who is president of the company, led product and technology at Stayful, a booking platform for independent and boutique hotels founded by the former president of

They were part of Y Combinator’s summer 2018 cohort, and at the time they were developing software to handle offline booking processes and get rid of paper contracts.

Today, the hotel guest management technology company’s platform digitizes the hotel guest journey from post-booking through checkout with tools that manage mobile check-in/checkout, registrations, upsells, guest messaging and digital tipping.

It’s a concept that has caught on. Canary now works with over 20,000 hoteliers globally at brands like Marriott International, Four Seasons, Choice Hotels, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood and Intercontinental Hotel Group. 

The company has also grown in the past couple of years as hotels deploy additional Canary tools. Since 2022, the company has grown over 100% in terms of revenue, Narula said.

Venture capital investors are paying attention. In March, Mews, a hotel SaaS startup, raised $110 million on a $1.2 billion valuation to help hotels better manage their IT. There’s also Life House, which offers software for hotel operators and owners, that last raised $60 million in 2021.

Now it’s Canary Technologies’ turn. The company closed on $50 million in Series C funding to support a large deployment of its guest-facing AI technology.

The funding, led by Insight Partners, was preempted by inside investors, Narula said. Though he didn’t give a specific valuation, Narula did say the valuation has now more than doubled since the company’s $30 million Series B round in 2022. Insight also led that round.

In addition to Insight Partners, existing investors F-Prime Capital, Thayer Ventures, Y Combinator and Commerce Ventures joined the Series C round. This new investment brings Canary’s total fundraising to date to nearly $100 million.

“In a year that proved tough on growth and execution in the tech ecosystem, we saw Canary thrive and exceed their ambitious targets, prompting us to double down,” Thomas Krane, managing director at Insight Partners, said in a statement. “We continue to be impressed with Harman, SJ, and the team’s tenacity and ability to deliver hoteliers the best-in-class solutions they need most, and are honored to be a part of the company’s journey.”

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