Rezdy, a six-month-old web start-up, has secured $250,000 in funding from Grand Prix Capital ahead of an ambitious global growth plan over the next year.
The business, which has been based in Sydney co-working space Fishburners for the past three months, has just taken on its first paying customer and is looking to scale with the addition of IT and sales staff.
Rezdy, a shortened version of “reservation ready”, is a real-time booking system for tours and activities operators.
The operators are given access to Rezdy’s back-end software, which allows them to book in and manage customers instantaneously. Rezdy’s pricing plan currently requires businesses to come on board for six months, at $19 a month.
The start-up was founded by French-born entrepreneur Simon Lenoir and currently has a four-strong team.
Lenoir secured the $250,000 seed investment, for an undisclosed equity stake, via the Sydney Angels network. Grand Prix Capital, which provided the funds, is headed by entrepreneur Les Szekely.
Interestingly, Rezdy failed to get through the “deal screening” round when pitching, but managed to attract the interest of Grand Prix Capital due to its existing stake in Siteminder, which has a similar business model but is aimed at hotels.
Mike Ford, the managing director of Siteminder which is itself currently undertaking a $5M raising, is acting as an advisor to Rezdy.
Lenoir says the business provides a similar service as online hotel and airfare booking services, but for the more “fragmented” tours and activities sector.
“It would be silly if you went to FlightCentre and asked for a flight to Europe and they said ‘Yes, sure, I’ll get back to you in three days,’” he says. “But that is what happens with tours, if you’re a dive centre in Thailand, for example.”
“There are thousands of small businesses this will appeal to. We consider ourselves a B2B service because we will then connect these businesses to the likes of Expedia and Red Balloon via the software.”
Lenoir says he hopes to have 100 paying customers by March, with 1,500 signed up by the end of the year, prior to international expansion.
“There is a great opportunity in Europe, which is where we will direct ourselves, but there is still a lot of work to do here in Australia first,” he says.