My partners and I, were one of the early investors in Buuteeq. We invested in early 2011, I should say Q1. Priceline.com recently acquired Buuteeq. You can read about it here on Forbes. This was two in a row for my venture investing experience, of course it is not representative but it shows that anyone can do this and get lucky. Of course, I have been sharing what I believe has been the success factor for us through this blog. I met with Adam and Forest, the co-founders of Buuteeq in January 2011. I was immediately taken to them, how they were approaching the problem of getting the Mom and Pop, small hotels to leverage the digital revolution that was taking over hotel bookings. They build a easy to use Digital Marketing Platform that leveraged Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and the best practices in web site development in a easy to use SaaS platform. I think the most important thing is the value proposition and the repeatable/scalable business model that they built.
I think what was interesting to me when I met them is how they looked at the problem and why they wanted to build this business. Forest and Adam, loved to travel and they travelled a lot and they would do research and find hotels to stay but when they got to the exotic location they found other great Bed and Breakfast places that was never listed in their search or their research. They were technologists and marketing professionals who used to work for Microsoft and has successfully started companies and created value and sold them before. They just decided that they wanted to get all those hotels online. Here is the clincher, they were going after a $230 Billion addressable market, yes you read it right Billion with a BIG B. When we invested they had very few hotels on their platform, that did not stop me or my partners, we believed, the team, their background and the market was addressable and winnable. The rest is history.
Forest, Adam and the rest of the Buuteeq team went to work, they quickly scaled the team, the product and the number of hotels on their platform. They tried several things, some worked some did not but I have to say they were incredibly clever in a number of ways. I learnt so much watching them build Buuteeq. I think this is what really excites me, I learn so much watching smart, talented and really awesome founders create magic on this digital canvas we call the internet. So, if you have believe you are doing something like this reach out to me, you never know what happens. Remember my post about Getting Lucky?