Category: HotelOnline in the Media

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HotelOnline in the Media
HotelOnline Acquisitions in Africa

Kenyan based travel-tech outfit HotelOnline has made strategic acquisition of companies across Africa, positioning itself at the helm of the industry. While many companies in the travel industry have been facing a major dip due to COVID-19, HotelOnline has diversified and acquired other entities solidifying its position in the African travel industry.

Run by two Norwegian-born Kenyans, Havar Bauck and Endre Opdal, the company has announced the acquisition of AfricaBookings – a pioneer in tech-enabled distribution of African hotels with an impressive inventory of 6000 hotels, and Cloud9 – a savvy travel and adventure app that has gained huge traction in Kenya.


HotelOnline in the Media
Zimbabwe’s AfricaBookings is HotelOnline’s Second Acquisition

Zimbabwe-based hotel-booking startup AfricaBookings is the second platform acquired by B2B company HotelOnline within a month, as the company looks to ramp up its B2B offering.

Founded in 2014, HotelOnline is a leading e-commerce and digital marketing platform for hotels that has helped more than 1,500 hotels across 18 markets in Africa and the Middle East increase their revenues.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this week the company had acquired Kenyan leisure marketplace Cloud9xp in a share swap deal that will see the startup become a B2C channel of the Africa-focused hotel-booking platform.

That deal was completed in June, at the same time as HotelOnline was completing another share swap arrangement to acquire Africabookings, which lists thousands of lodges and hotels across various African countries, and raised seed funding back in 2015.


HotelOnline in the Media
HotelOnline to merge operations with Key Butler, a Norwegian traveltech startup

HotelOnline and Key Butler have agreed to merge their Norwegian entities in a European market consolidation move.

Key Butler and HotelOnline merger will form Stay Plus and will target the Scandinavian rental market. only. HotelOmlome will maintain its operations in Africa.

Led by Tore Hofstad, the Chairman of HotelOnline, and a key investor and a former chairman of British-Norwegian traveltech New Mind tellUs, Stay Plus aims to be the biggest platform in the Nordic market.

“Our ambition is to become a leading player in the Nordic market for short-term home rentals”, said Stay Plus Chairman Tore Hofstad. He is also the Chairman of HotelOnline, and a key investor. Hofstad contributed to the 2018 New Mind tellUs merger with Simpleview, creating the world’s largest Destination Marketing Company.

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HotelOnline in the Media
Key Butler joins African hotel giant: will hijack the rental market

HotelOnline and Key Butler are joining forces in a new rental platform.

Behind HotelOnline are Håvar Bauck and Endre Opdal . The founders have, over the past five years, become a leading player in e-commerce and digital marketing of small and medium-sized hotels in Africa.

This summer the company raised NOK 3 million from, among others, Trond Riiber Knutsen and Indian Shravan Shroff , a profiled angel investor.

At the same time, HotelOnline announced a transfer of the group from Kenya to Norway , and in the Nordic venture there was, among other things, a merger agreement with Key Butler , the original Norwegian “Airbnb startup” which last year demanded .

Now Key Butler and HotelOnline are joining forces in a new company called Stay.Plus , where several “traveltech” companies have also been accommodated. The goal is to become a leading player in the Nordic market for short-term rental of private homes.

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HotelOnline in the Media
HotelOnline Raises $320,000 from TRK Group, OYO Rooms early investor Shravan Shroff among others

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.”

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HotelOnline in the Media
Norwegian Håvar Bauck’s Kenyan startup HotelOnline announces it’s raised $320k [Updated]

Håvar Bauck, the Norwegian entrepreneur who hit the news earlier this year over his dealings with controversial Polish tech entrepreneur Marek Zmyslowski announced yesterday that his Kenyan travel tech startup HotelOnline had raised $320 000.

The company provides solutions for e-commerce and digital marketing to more than 1500 hotels in 18 markets across Africa and South Asia.

The new investment was raised from existing shareholders (according to Bauck these include 68 shareholders mainly from Norway, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Poland) and two new investors — Shravan Shroff, the co-founder of India’s first angel investor-backed start-up accelerator, Venture Nursery and Norwegian investor Trond Riiber Knudsen. Shroff has joined HotelOnline’s board.

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HotelOnline in the Media
Shravan Shroff Joins HotelOnline Board of Directors

HotelOnline, with an aim to strengthen its position in current core markets, delivering outstanding quality to their hotel partners and creating more exceptional performance cases has raised $ 320,000 in the recent round of funding.

While most participants were current shareholders increasing their investments, two notable new investors, Shravan Shroff and Trond Riiber Knudsen, joined in. Shravan is the first investor in OYO Rooms, and the Co-founder of India’s first angel investor-backed start-up accelerator, Venture Nursery. Whereas, Knudsen is a former McKinsey top and Norway’s most active start-up investor.

Shravan Shroff, known as the first investor in OYO Rooms, and the co-founder of India’s first angel investor-backed startup accelerator, Venture Nursery, has been inducted into Board of Directors of HotelOnline.

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HotelOnline in the Media
Pan African TravelTech Firm, HotelOnline Raises US$320,000 From Sharavan Shroff, Existing Investors

HotelOnline, a travel technology firm with extensive presence across Africa has raised US$320,000 mainly from the existing shareholders.

Several of the existing major investors are from Norway and Nigeria who have significantly increased their shareholding while Trond Riiber Knudsen, Norway’s most active startup investor has also invested in the company.

Sharavan Shroff who is known as the first investor in traveltech unicorn OYO Rooms, and the co-founder of India’s first angel investor-backed startup accelerator, Venture Nursery was among the new shareholders. Shravan Shroff will join the board of directors.

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HotelOnline in the Media
HotelOnline conquers Africa from Kenya

When Håvar Bauck landed in Kenya in 2002, the country was in chaos. The government of outgoing president Daniel Moi was preparing to exit the scene after 24 years in power. It was not clear who would become the next leader and despite great optimism of the future of the country, fear of instability was still evident.

“Kenya was experiencing a great moment of change. When Mwai Kibaki won the election, the country exploded in optimism. I was excited to see Kenya starting to realize its potential. The spirit of ‘yote yawezekana’ was contagious,” notes Bauck who was on a student exchange program through the Norwegian Peace Corps.

For Bauck, there began his great love for Kenya and an exciting journey for sixteen years that has pushed him to developing one of the biggest start-ups ever developed in Kenya that is making great ripples across Africa.

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