Scottish startup Criton acquired by Nonius as demand for mobile tech in hospitality soars

The hospitality tech revolution is continuing, and the demand for mobile tech in this sector is skyrocketing. In this context, the Edinburgh-based startup Criton, the UK’s largest provider of guest apps for independent hotels, has just been acquired by Portuguese hospitality tech pioneer, Nonius

The merger of Criton with GuestU, Nonius’s mobile solution, will create an unparalleled offering in the hospitality sector allowing the merged companies to better serve a market that has grown exponentially since the pandemic hit in 2020.

Founded in 2016 by Julie Grieve, Criton is a guest engagement and integrations platform that enables hotels, serviced apartments and groups worldwide to digitise their guest information and wrap all-guest facing technology into a sophisticated mobile app for guests to use on their own phones. It provides white-labelled guest apps to over 300 locations including hotels and serviced apartments, which allow them to offer a fully digital guest journey – including location-based push notifications, mobile check-in, digital door key, messaging, food ordering, loyalty programme and more.

The pandemic, in particular, saw significant growth in demand for Criton’s product as hotels struggled with how they could meet guest demand for contactless solutions allowing speedier check-in, use of a mobile key that allows guests to go directly to their room and mobile ordering.

Julie Grieve, Founder and CEO of Criton said: “I am delighted that we have agreed on terms with Nonius, a well-respected and innovative player in the hospitality market. I’ve been hugely impressed with their Nonius Hub and believe that together, our products will deliver exactly what hoteliers and their guests want, simple and effective mobile solutions bringing much needed digital transformation to a sector that has a challenging technology landscape and has been significantly impacted over the past 2 years of the pandemic.

Since starting Criton we have always taken a customer-first approach, I am hugely proud of all we have achieved and I firmly believe this merger will create a world-leading mobile service allowing hoteliers to embrace the digital service their guests are demanding.”

Criton has been paving the way in the digitalisation of the hospitality sector with its mobile app, helping travellers have more relaxing holidays, and hotels enhance the guest experience, drive operational efficiency and increase revenue. 

Nonius, founded in Portugal in 2005 by Antonio Silva and Leonel Domingues, is a global provider of solutions to the hospitality sector, and over the past few years, it has been growing through organic success and strategic acquisitions. The first acquisition happened 10 years ago but more recently and also on the mobile landscape, it acquired GuestU.

Nonius now serves over 3,950 hotels across the world with internet access, networks management, interactive TV, digital signage, voice and more. The company has been growing its stack of mobile solutions since adding GuestU to its platform as demand for this service grows, and this new acquisition of Criton is a key part of this trajectory. GuestU leverages the Nonius integrations hub which enables hotels to access multiple integrations within one app and offer their guests an in-depth digital experience. The combined mobile business unit will serve 700 hotels and serviced apartments worldwide.

Antonio Silva CEO and Co-Founder of Nonius said: “At Nonius we have spent the past 17 years building and scaling a business that provides solutions to the global hospitality sector. We have been watching Criton’s growth in the market with interest over the past 5 years and we are delighted that we have been able to agree on terms to acquire Criton. Since its inception, Criton has grown an inspiring client list and we are now starting to implement our plan to fully integrate our platforms to create a world-leading offering from which hoteliers and their guests can benefit.”

Julie Grieve will continue as Director of Criton. The deal value has not been disclosed.