Even after Rocket Internet’s Jovago announced expansion into Kenya and Senegal.Hotels.ng founder Mark Essien believes Rocket Internet’s quick exit model might not succeed in Africa especially for its hotel booking platform Jovago.
With a team of 6 people sitting at phones and internet around the clock daily receiving calls and internet bookings from Nigerians, for its over 3600 hotels on the platform, Hotels.ng says they are in the country to stay, unlike Jovago their competitor.
“The Rocket Internet model is to build something that they can sell as quickly as possible. We are building to stay. Hotel booking is about the hotel managers knowing you are here to stay and that they can trust the partnership to still be around in two years,” Mark Essien, Hotels.ng founder told TechMoran.
Essien says he is not worried of Rocket Internet’s Jovago which has slightly over 2000 hotels in Africa as it might soon be sold to a third party,unlike Hotels.ng which is here to stay. Essien says at the moment, the firm is has partnered with many online payment providers such as Interswitch to power its online payments and is aiming at being everywhere in Africa booking hotels for people.
Hotels.ng’s other competitor is WakaNow, which is an all-round travel agency, unlike them, a field Essien says he has no plans to venture in. Another competitor, NiteStay is perharps Hotels direct competitor. Hotels is focusing on hotels and will not be distracted by venues or airline booking, even with growing demand as Africa’s middle-class grows.
Launched in Jan 2012 by the Nigerian-born and Berlin trained robotics engineer, Hotels raised a $250,000 seed funding from Nigeria’s Spark is not looking for new funding yet as its operating at a small profit.Essien says technology has always been his passion, and he’s excited about the impact that this can have in Africa.