Scottish tech firm strikes global deals

02/03/2023
Highlands-based co-founders of Hop, Richard Drummond (left) and Jon Erasmus (right) are celebrating worldwide contracts.

Bannatyne group also on board for growing company

A SCOTTISH tech firm has broken into North American and African markets, after cementing a deal with the leisure group founded by former BBC ‘Dragon’, Duncan Bannatyne.

Hop, a Hotel Property Management Software Company, was the 2017 brainchild of highlands-based hoteliers, Richard Drummond and Jon Erasmus and developer, Ronald Tweedie.

The trio developed Hop out of frustration at expensive, outdated systems, creating single-point software which could handle everything including bookings, multi-system payments, orders and check-ins.

Now, after penning a contract with 5 English hotels in Duncan Bannatyne’s Bannatyne leisure portfolio, the company is celebrating new business in Florida and Nigeria, with a deal also closed in Barbados.

Hop, who will attend the ScotHot hospitality showcase at SEC in Glasgow this month, already enjoys a significant market share in Scotland, with software operational in 65 hospitality venues.

However, recent deals which will see them operate across 3 continents, have changed the global outlook for the business, which retains strong roots in the highlands and islands and an office in Edinburgh.

“We have a good presence and foundation in Scotland. This is probably because we have over 40 years of experience running our own hotels here,” said co-founder, Richard Drummond, who also runs McKays Hotel, Restaurant and Bar in Pitlochry. “That gives us a ground-up, daily insight into the Scottish and UK sector and we are keen to continually build on that, with the knowledge we have.”

“Securing the Bannatyne contract was really important for us, as a business, while the international deals take things to a new level. We are in a crowded market but our customers tell us our product represents the type of functionality they want for their money, which is crucial in a time of rising costs across the hospitality sector because people are looking for value,” said co-founder, Jon Erasmus, who also owns the Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness.

“Like all businesses, Covid-19 was a challenge for us, but the aim now is to effectively double the size of the business in the next few years.”

Hop’s Florida tie-up sees them provide solutions for Skyborne Aviation, which operates a 314-room campus hotel as part of an airline training academy at Vero Beach.

The company is also providing systems for CheckInn, which is a multi-property organisation, in Nigeria.

Another partnership with a holiday complex in Barbados in the Caribbean is due to go live within weeks. 

As well as securing integration agreements with the major international payments platforms, Hop was voted Property Management System Partner of the Year 2022 by SiteMinder.

“These awards, as well as the contracts, are positive external validation for the solutions we are providing and our standing within the industry,” added Richard Drummond.

“We are really looking forward now to the ScotHot event in Glasgow, meeting with people doing great things in hospitality and tourism in Scotland.”

Hop’s Scottish clients include the J & R Group, the 3-hotel Isles Hotel Group and the 4-hotel Cobbs group in the highlands and islands.

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