The Nigerian travel startup focused on travel across Africa… for Africans
Hotel.africa lists more than 25,000 properties on the continent and the company has partnered with local hotels and airlines across Africa to accelerate its growth across the region.
The company’s goal in Africa is to make every hotel in Africa available to be booked online, by taking its hotel inventory on Hotel.africa from 25,000 to 100,000 within four years.
Hotels.ng launched in 2013 claiming travelling on the continent for Africans was hampered by online information on affordable hotels.
It said global travel booking platforms in Africa often list only the most expensive hotels in a bid to capture foreign business travellers and luxury tourists .
While other platforms mostly focus only on high-end resorts and luxury hotels, Hotels.ng offered average consumers a wider range of options of moderately priced hotels. “That gap is huge,” Mark Essien, Hotels.ng CEO, said this week in an interview with Quartz.
In four years more than 500 people visited hotel addresses and took photos to help make up the listings – now he’s organising that across the continent.
Essien told Quartz that now is the time to expand as the “conditions are right in terms of market development.” One of those conditions is the increasing number of citizens who can receive visa on arrival making travel within Africa simpler.
Hotels.ng’s revenue model is based on taking commissions on bookings on its platform. The company is regarded as one of the success stories of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. In 2015, it raised $1.2 million from Echo VC, a Lagos-based venture capital fund. According to Essien, the company became profitable and raised additional capital last year but declined to give details of the funding.