Hotels.com.ng is a hotel booking website for Nigeria. The portal helps people who want to book their hotels online do so via the internet or mobile phone. One can also call the firm to book a room or get recommendations on where to stay.
TechMoran had a brief chat with Mark Essien the founder and here are the highlights.
When was it launched and where ?
It was soft-launched in March 2012 in Nigeria.
Who are its founders?
I, Mark Essien, am the founder of Hotels.com.ng. I am a computer engineering graduate from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. I grew up in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
What inspired hem to find it?
It is a relatively hard problem, for which there is no well working solution. It’s also in a lucrative market segment.
How does it work?
A user visits the website and locates a hotel that he wishes to stay it. He sends in a booking request for particular date ranges. We then call the hotel, confirm the reservation and if it is successful, reserve the room and inform the user that the room has been booked, and he should pay for the room.
How any Hotels on board now?
We have 3400 hotels listed, of which about 10% have signed up for the booking service.
Why just hotels?
The travel space is quite wide, and each of the sub-problems within this space is hard enough. Rather than trying to solve the problem for all possible areas within the travel space, we prefer to just solve it for one focused area.
What is your business model?
We take a % on bookings done through the site.
Hotels.com, Booking.com, WakaNow.com
How unique are you from the competition?
We offer the same set of services, but we are unique in that we have hotels all over nigeria, while most other sites are just focused on a particular area
Any funding yet?
We raised 5million Naira seed funding before launch
The greatest challenge is in building relationships with the hotels
Future plans/expansion etc?
For now, we plan to focus on solving the hotels problem within nigeria first, before deciding in which direction to expand towards.