The Direct™ story – two winding paths that converged before a huge problem was unearthed.
Co-founders Wes Smithe and Chad O’Farrell serendipitously met through a mutual friend in early 2015 while living and working in Chicago.
Prior to their first encounter, Wes had recently co-founded a marketplace that consolidated professionally managed vacation rental inventory called Vaystays, a spinoff of another niche vacation rental marketplace he helped launch with his previous partners in the late 2000’s called GamedayHousing.
While successfully leading hotel & resort business development efforts for a few years at Groupon Getaways, Chad witnessed firsthand the impact alternative lodging was making in the travel space, and he quickly decided to make the leap into the startup world joining Wes at Vaystays.
A little over a year later they had grown the B2C marketplace to over 40,000 professionally managed units worldwide, over 300 suppliers, and millions in bookings. Along the way however, they identified a major problem faced by the professionals who supply the market: in order to manage and monetize their short-term rental inventory, 10+ outdated, disconnected, and costly software tools are required.
Evolution >> Revolution
Convinced by the recent advances in web technology and disatisfaction among professional suppliers, O’Farrell and Smithe made the tough decision to pivot the business and set out to build, from scratch, a modern, all-in-one Property Management System (PMS) and launched Direct™ in early 2017.
Today, Direct™ is the next-generation B2B enterprise platform for professional vacation rental managers & independent hotel operators with similar needs. The B2B side of the hotel & lodging industry remains highly fragmented & antiquated, and the Direct™ system adds tremendous value bringing every feature necessary to run a business under one roof by consolidating or replacing the functionalities altogether, enabling managers and operators to generate more revenue, with less effort, and at a lower cost than they can by bundling competing platforms.