African travel tech industry rivals Savanna Sunrise and HotelOga have signed an agreement to merge, creating an African giant in hospitality marketing technology, shifting their focus to global frontier and emerging markets.
The merger will create the biggest hospitality marketing technology group in online travel in Africa. HotelOga and Savanna Sunrise are changing the way hotels utilize technology and online marketing in their operations. With already inked partnerships with Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, HotelBeds, CTrip and many more, the enlarged group aims to be a dominant player in Africa.
HotelOga, founded in Nigeria by Marek Zmysłowski and Maciej Prostak, provides the hotel industry with a multi-product platform enabling efficient booking management and access to an advanced high-tech ecosystem to increase the number of bookings, providing both hardware and software.
Changing trends for African travel tech
As mobile internet penetration rapidly increases, the African travel and hospitatility industry is playing catch up with the new mobile consumer. “Trends are changing rapidly, booking habits are switching to online, hotels will be more active in setting up hotel rates like airlines, with more online payments. The question really is, how fast can we make that shift happen” Zymslowski shares with AppsAfrica.com.
“The African travel sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. Technology is changing travel at an increasing pace, this is why building a travel technology company in Africa and beyond is so exciting” he added.
New venture to grow globally
Launched in Kenya in 2014 by experienced hoteliers and managers Endre Opdal and Havar Bauck, Savanna Sunrise is a travel and hospitality marketing group. The company grew organically to become a market leader in Eastern and Central Africa, with more than 400 hotel partner across 14 African countries. Savanna Sunrise was built without external funding, and has been running a profit since day 1.
“With this merger, we are writing a new chapter in the evolution of the hospitality sector in Africa. From the position we are building, we are now well poised to expand our footprint to Frontier and Emerging Markets globally. The challenges facing the hospitality sector across these markets are very similar, and we are eagerly preparing to tap into the immense opportunities that exist” shared Håvar Bauck.
Both companies are in agreement to merge at similar valuations. Marek Zmysłowski will take the role of the CEO of newly established entity, and Håvar Bauck will be the Executive Chairman. The group will retain both brands initially, until a unified marketing strategy is rolled out in the near future.
“We are so happy to join forces with Savanna Sunrise. This merger will enable us to become the leading company in our sector. Our next goals include: unifying operations within the group and strengthening our dominant position in Africa. We are also preparing our expansion to certain markets in Asia and Eastern Europe, where we can take implement our learnings from Africa” added Zmysłowski.