Nairobi-based travel tech platform HotelOnline, has raised $320,000 from its existing investors and new investors such as Norway’s Trond Riiber Knudsen Group and Shravan Shroff , an early backer of India’s OYO Rooms, and the co-founder of India’s Venture Nursery, a startup accelerator. Shroff has joined the firm’s board of directors.
Havar Bauck, co-founder and Chairman of HotelOnline acknowledged that Shravan brings oversight and guidance to its board making it, even more, stronger as HotelOnline transitions into a profitable scale-up from a startup.
“We will use the investment to bolster our existing products and strengthen our focus on delivering outstanding quality to our hotel partners. We will focus on doing what we do best: Creating outstanding value for our hotel partners, and for our shareholders.”
Founded in 2014 by Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck, the firm rebranded from Savanna Sunrise to HotelOnline after it merged with Polish traveltech startup Hotel Online.
The platform now provides a proprietary cloud-based property management system enabling online bookings for hotels away from its earlier life as an e-commerce and digital marketing outfit in the East African hotel industry.
To expand across Francophone Africa, HotelOnline acquired Senegalese Teranga Solutions to bolster its technology offerings. The two merged to create a traveltech industry leader in the global frontier markets. The companies individually had systems and business models that were complimentary and together they now have a cloud-based ecosystem platform for independent hotels – the first of its kind, making HotelOnline a global leader in frontier markets.
The firm had earlier planned to work with Nigeria’s HotelOga but it later found its structure confusing and abandoned the whole acquisition deal. Bauck said that HotelOga was bound to fail terribly because of that poor structure.
Bauck was also recently behind the acquisition of heartbeat Adventures by local startup Cloud9xp.