HotelOnline, a Kenya-based revenue management company, has acquired East African hotel software provider HotelPlus.
The full terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction mainly takes the form of shares, according to Håvar Bauck, one of HotelOnline’s two founders. Eric Muliro, who founded HotelPlus in Kenya in 2009, is getting a payout plus $1.9 million in shares in HotelOnline, Bauck says. HotelOnline was valued at $24 million pre-deal.
“HotelPlus has built an impressive commercial organization, with skilled salespeople and a high-performance reseller network covering more than a dozen countries across the continent,” says Bauck. “Integrating these resources [lays the groundwork] for our accelerated expansion in Africa.”
Founded in 2014 by Norwegian entrepreneurs Bauck and Endre Opdal, HotelOnline says it helps more than 6,000 hotels in 27 countries boost occupancy and increase yield.
HotelPlus is a well-known brand name in the hospitality industry and a leading provider of hotel software in East Africa, with a portfolio of 2,200 clients, according to Bauck.
“Through this merger, we are significantly increasing our client base, while capitalizing on the combined strengths of both companies, creating a force to reckon with in the hospitality industry in the East Africa region,” Bauck says.
Opdal, HotelOnline’s founder and CEO, calls the merger a “win-win” for HotelPlus clients who will benefit from “state-of-the-art digital services, such as payment solutions, AI-driven dynamic pricing and obviously revenue management.”
HotelPlus was 100% owned by Muliro until the merger. He is joining HotelOnline as chief technology officer and bringing with him a team of software developers.
“This deal is a key milestone in the journeys of both companies,” says Muliro. “We are beyond happy to join forces with HotelOnline to create a traveltech market leader in East Africa.”
HotelOnline received an investment in April from South Korea-based Yanolja Cloud, an AI-based global SaaS company. Bauck says the partnership with Yanolja Cloud has enabled HotelOnline to “rapidly gain market share” as a front runner in the African hospitality industry’s digital transformation.