Colgate alumni Joseph DiTomaso ‘97 and William Beckler ’97 recently started a website called AllTheRooms. AllTheRooms is an accommodations site that helps people find the best place to stay while traveling. DiTomaso is co-founder, CEO and president of AllTheRooms, and Beckler is co-founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. DiTomaso and Beckler were physics lab partners and good friends while attending Colgate, later reuniting to start the company and become business partners.
AllTheRooms is a website that acts as a search engine to find the best places to stay while traveling. According to AllTheRoom’s media kit, this goes beyond just hotel rooms, including “non-traditional accommodations” as well. The site provides information about other places to stay, such as hostels or home-stays.
“Think of [this site as the] Google of
accommodation search,” DiTomaso said.
As cofounder of this site, DiTomaso works in all different areas, from marketing for the company to hiring and training people to work for the site.
According to DiTomaso, the company currently has over 3.5 million accommodations for people to search from, making it the world’s largest accommodations database.
“This is bigger than Kayak, Trivago, booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb combined,” DiTomaso said.
Beckler came up with the idea for AllTheRooms when trying to find a place to stay while traveling. He found checking multiple websites for the best places to stay could be difficult and time-consuming.
“I was working in the online travel industry when I went on my honeymoon to Croatia. While we were there we found it a lot of work to hunt down accommodations because there were so many different sites to check,” Beckler said.
Beckler envisioned a company like AllTheRooms as an opportunity to solve this problem. AllTheRooms has been written up in many reviews, such as in the New York Times article “Everyone Gets a Share, of Everything,” by Elaine Glusac. She discusses different travel sites, specifically praising AllTheRooms.
“The new lodging search engine AllTheRooms rounds up not just available hostels in a place, but shareable options including home rentals and houseboats and nontraditional choices like campgrounds, making for easy cost and option comparisons across categories in one Google-like click,” Glusac said.
When asked about any possible competitors for AllTheRooms, DiTomaso said that there are other sites but that they are not combining all of the different accommodations that are out there in the way that
“No one else is doing all of this,” DiTomaso said.
While at Colgate, DiTomaso and Beckler dreamed about starting their own company one day. DiTomaso described one time in which the two of them were up late working on a project, talking about the future and trying to keep campus security from seeing them.
“As the security guard walked through the hallway and overlooked the room, Bill turned to me and said that one day he wanted to start his own company, and wanted to change the world,” DiTomaso said. “I echoed his sentiments.”
Although the two of them did not remain close after graduating from Colgate, they reunited once Beckler came up with the idea for AllTheRooms, and they eventually co-founded the site together.
“I hadn’t spoken or seen Bill since graduation. But when he called me last year, he said he was working on something and wanted to bounce a few ideas off me. Little did I know he was thinking about aggregating every room on the planet,” DiTomaso said.
After graduating from Colgate, DiTomaso and Beckler went on to further their education and enter separate fields of employment.
“[Beckler] went to Columbia Law School, became a community organizer and after a few years decided he wanted to get into programming where he went to work at Travelocity and rose in rank to become their director of innovation,” DiTomaso said. “I went to work at Morgan Stanley where I became a leveraged and acquisition finance banker, eventually covering technology companies and received my MBA from Columbia University.”
Beckler said that his experience at Colgate helped to shape the way that he solves problems and gave him some of the tools needed in starting this company.
“Studying at Colgate gave me several key ingredients: the ability to solve hard problems from first principles. This is how we look at what we are doing with AllTheRooms. Colgate gave me the roots of my technical skills” Beckler said. “Finally, the most valuable outcome of Colgate was meeting my cofounder.”
Beckler hopes that this site will make it easier for people to travel and provide a way for those looking to stay somewhere to get the most efficient deal.
“We believe we can change how people travel, by making it easier, cheaper and more transformational, as people discover more opportunities to connect with people wherever they go,” Beckler said.