[TechMoran] HotelOnline to merge operations with Key Butler, a Norwegian traveltech startup

Article published in Techmoran on 2019-09-12

HotelOnline and Key Butler have agreed to merge their Norwegian entities in a European market consolidation move.

Key Butler and HotelOnline merger will form Stay Plus and will target the Scandinavian rental market. only. HotelOmlome will maintain its operations in Africa.

Led by Tore Hofstad, the Chairman of HotelOnline, and a key investor and a former chairman of British-Norwegian traveltech New Mind tellUs, Stay Plus aims to be the biggest platform in the Nordic market.

“Our ambition is to become a leading player in the Nordic market for short-term home rentals”, said Stay Plus Chairman Tore Hofstad. He is also the Chairman of HotelOnline, and a key investor. Hofstad contributed to the 2018 New Mind tellUs merger with Simpleview, creating the world’s largest Destination Marketing Company.

Founded by Norwegian entrepreneurs Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck, HotelOnline’s Nordic operations include Cityhotels.com (a Nordic OTA), Solferie (a Norwegian vacation rental business ) and the Guestmaker booking technology.

Signing the merger agreement
Signing the merger agreement

The new company will be known as Stay Plus and will target the major cities in Norway from the moment go, as well as vacation homes across the country.

“While most homeowners still primarily look to AirBnB for such rentals, Stay Plus will use all major online channels, including Expedia, Booking.com and CTrip, said Klaus Hjermann, new GM Stay Plus.