Kenya’s safari marketplace Cloud9XP acquires competitor Heartbeat Adventures, goes into flight & hotel bookings

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Cloud9xp, an online marketplace, booking service and distributor for leisure experiences backed by Hotel Online has merged with Hearbeat Adventures, a tech-enabled tours and travel companies in the region.

Speaking to TechMoran, Cloud9xp Cofounder, Tesh Mbaabu said, “Cloud9XP acquired Heartbeat Adventures. We wanted to strengthen our position in the market by integrating a traditional tours and travel business with experience in on-ground operations with a modern, e-commerce traveltech, hence bridging the gap for the African consumer and increasing our product basket size and capabilities for the inbound traveler.”

“We have introduced services such as holiday/vacation bookings, in-destination management, accommodation,  flight bookings and on ground transport/transfers. 
HotelOnline’s Executive chairman joins us as the Chairman of Cloud9xp. We strategically chose to work together because of his experience in traveltech and opportunities for partnerships between the companies, which we are testing and will announce later.,” Mbaabu told TechMoran adding that the move extends the collaboration between the teams at the two companies which have been working together over the last nine months.

The merger is expected to allow a better customer experience and entry into in-destination management, flight and accommodation bookings using Cloud9xp’s technology and partnerships; and Heartbeat Adventure’s experience in on ground  operations across different travel and tourism spheres.

The two companies will continue with operations under the Cloud9xp brand, with HeartBeat Adventures’s Founder, Winnie Kimathi as the new Managing Director and HotelOnline’s Håvar Bauck as Chairman of the company, effective June 1st, 2019.

The new MD will oversee day to day operations of the company, open new doors for revenue generation through curated travel packages and lead the next phase of the company’s’ growth.

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Håvar, Cloud9xp Chairman and Executive Chairman and co-founder of HotelOnline, “Cloud9XP is one of the most exciting ventures in the African traveltech space at the moment. The merger with Heartbeat Ventures creates a new, disruptive force in an industry begging for innovation.  Hotel distribution has moved online, but tours and activities are still marketed and distributed the same way they were 30 years ago. Cloud9XP now moves to fill that space, to enable e-commerce and digital marketing for the entire industry, in Kenya and beyond.”

Tour operators and experience providers in this country work hard day and night to make people’s dreams come true. Cloud9XP makes it easier than ever for them to reach out to their customers. With Cloud9XP, small travel businesses in the remotest corners of the country can sell directly to the whole world!

Cloud9xp was founded 2016 by friends Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti in Nairobi. The firm was winner of the Nairobi Africarena Challenge. The firm has also won several grants and competitions from Google and number of other pan-African challenges.