GetRooms, an online room booking platform for students and travellers has launched in Ghana in a move expected to simplify the student hostel booking process which is majorly offline and undisrupted while the majority of students are tech savvy.
Founded by Kekeli and Abigail Buckner, GetRooms, which grew out of hostel management platform Trackist, is targeting nearly 400,000 students per year who join universities and colleges across the country according to Ghana’s National Accreditation Board’s 2015 Tertiary Education Statistics Report. With a growing number of students each year there will be a spike in demand for hostel facilities which GetRooms aims to help meet.
Now with 3,000 plus student bookings, the founders say the platform is currently the largest hostel booking website in Ghana and offers a free platform for hostel owners while charging a small commission to students. The team was inspired by the fact it’s frustrating to search, find and book a hostel in Ghana online therefore students normally rely on friends and family or walk door-to-door to see the conditions of the hostels.
“If you have ever schooled or are still schooling in any of the Universities or tertiary institutions in Ghana then you might have had that unique experience of living in a hostel,” said the team. “Hostels are fun, you cook your own food, live with roommates, clean you room, plan your day, you are practically living on your own. For some living in a hostel is their first taste of independence. Finding a hostel that suits your pocket and needs can be very difficult not because there is a scarcity of hostels but because the hostels cannot be found online.”
With GetRooms, users will search for hostel rooms online, book it online and pay for it so that hostel managers receive payments and connect with the students via emails and text messages. Uganda’s RentHostels is relaunching to do the same in Kampala, Uganda.