Accommodation marketplace SafariNow‘s international brand, StayNow which was launched in Kenya early this year, has shut down its operations in Kenya in what appears to be a cost cutting move for the South African based firm, also backed by One Africa Media.
According to a source speaking to TechMoran on condition of anonymity, the One Africa Media-based office had a goal which it had achieved.
” I believe the StayNow office was created to get the listings in Kenya and greater East Africa. The team here did a remarkable job in already acquiring these and they are listed on the site. However, since all the functionality is web based such as booking and payment the need for a Kenyan office was not important anymore.”
“The next contributing factor was that SafarNow has a grander strategic plan whereby they can offer listings in countries all over the world which was not the case earlier in the year. So now the goals of the company are more aligned to an international market and so having a Kenya regional office is not as important,” the source added.
TechMoran has contacted Matthew Swart the CEO SafariNow in SA and will get back with an updated story.
With over 51,000 accommodation listings globally and Africa’s largest and most established online accommodation booking site beating SleepOut, Jovago and Booking.com in Africa and several others operating in Kenya, the shutting down of Kenya offices is both good and bad for everyone. Good that the company will cut down its costs. Bad that some people have lost jobs. Competitors might use the move it for bad or good.
In an exclusive interview with TechMoran in May, Dylan Rothschild, GM SafariNow(read StayNow) said, “We started over 15 years ago when no one was doing it in Africa. We wanted to fill the gap in the market which still exists in Kenya. We want to give local travel solutions at local rates to local Kenyans than tourists. Everyone wants to travel but they just lack information.”
Rothschild told TechMoran the firm was a leader in the South African accommodation market and aimed to replicate that success in East Africa ad be the go-to place for local travellers a with prefereable holiday and business accommodation options that suit them.
, in a statement, Matthew Swart, CEO and founder of StayNow said, “We are seeing far more travel happening in Kenya nowadays as a result of the recent tech boom and the subsequent emergence of a wealthier middle class. There’s more disposable income and Kenyans are keen to travel, but they need solutions that work for them, not options tailored for the tourist market.”
In May, StayNow Kenya said it had over 1000 establishments.