Hotels.ng, Nigeria’s top online travel agency specializing in hotel bookings within Nigeria by connecting consumers to over 14,000 hotels in the country, has raised $1.2 million to launch new operations that will start from Ghana and spread to the rest of Africa.
The funds were realized from investments made by Omidyar Network and EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund.
Hotels.ng, founded by Mark Essien, has provided safe and suitable online bookings for tourists and travelers since its inception in 2013; it now plans to grow its reach to 90% of Nigerian hotels in the next three years with this new investment. It also plans to expand its coverage to 50% of hotels across Africa.
“The hotel booking space in particular—even though it was a big market abroad—did not exist in the entire Sub-Saharan African market. After looking into the market, I understood the operational challenges that prevented it from existing, and then set about to solve them,” says Mark.
“We were able to solve them, and the day the site went live, we were dealing with a 100 calls a day. Since then, the business has kept growing—down to us raising one of the biggest Nigerian tech rounds in recent times.”
With a new government taking over power, it is expected that the economy would become diversified, opening doors for travel and tourism in Nigeria. Hotels.ng couldn’t have clinched this deal at a better time.
“We’re forging ahead into relatively uncharted territory; E-commerce in Africa is a massive market to conquer, but there are no hard and fast prototypes from which to follow; We cannot simply replicate Western models here; we have to build our own blueprints from scratch, which takes significant investment, both in terms of time and money. This additional capital will allow us to realize the next stage in our ambitious growth plans, which will see us consolidate our position as Nigeria’s market leader in online hotel bookings, with a view to expanding our service into other African markets, such as Ghana.”