Nigerian online hotel booking platform Hotels.ng has raised a US$1.2 million funding round from Omidyar Network the investment vehicle of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund, a seed-stage technology fund.
According to the company, the funds will be used to invest in its technology capacity and increase the site’s reach in Africa.
Mark Essien, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Hotels.ng, said: “We’re forging ahead into relatively uncharted territory; e-commerce in Africa is a massive market to conquer, but there are no hard and fast prototypes from which to follow. We cannot simply replicate Western models here, we have to build our own blueprints from scratch, which takes significant investment, both in terms of time and money. This additional capital will allow us to realise the next stage in our ambitious growth plans, which will see us consolidate our position as Nigeria’s market leader in online hotel bookings, with a view to expanding our service into other African markets, such as Ghana.”
Ory Okolloh, Investments Director at Omidyar Network, said Hotels.ng hits all the marks of an investment with positive impact by leveraging online technology to connect buyers and sellers, supporting local small and medium businesses, and boosting consumers confidence in digital channels.
Eghosa Omoigui, managing partner of EchoVC’s Pan-Africa Fund revealed that the attraction to Hotels.ng was fueled by the company’s vision, leadership and integrity of its founder Mark, and the relentless execution the team displayed in building a profitable and robust e-commerce business in a challenging, but ultimately exciting market.
According to Omoigui, “Mark represents the type of high-quality and high-conviction African techpreneur that our fund is tasked with investing in. Hotels.ng is now in the very best position to continue on its upward trajectory of being West Africa’s foremost online travel and hospitality platform. Following a competitive selection process, we’re delighted to be an integral part of helping fuel their next stage of meteoric growth.”
Founded in 2012 by Nigerian entrepreneur Mark Essien, Hotels.ng currently has a listing of more than 7,000 hotels in 21 regions across Nigeria.