Kenya’s HotelOnline acquires hotel software company HotelPlus

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HotelOnline, a Kenya-based travel technology company that markets itself as an enabler of e-commerce and digital marketing in the hospitality industry, has acquired HotelPlus, a software provider with customers in 22 countries.

Full terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Eric Muliro, who founded HotelPlus in Kenya 13 years ago, is receiving payment and $1.9m in shares in HotelOnline, which was valued at $24m dollars before the deal. Muliro will also serve as the scaling technology director.

HotelOnline said the deal increased its customer base by more than 2,200 and opened the door to additional customers and unique offerings such as payment solutions, AI-powered pricing and ticket management. income.

“We are significantly growing our customer base, while capitalizing on the combined strengths of both companies, creating a force to be reckoned with in the East African hospitality industry,” said the co-founder of HotelOnline. , Havar Bauck, at TechCrunch.

“Because the HotelPlus customer base is currently using on-premises software, this creates a unique integration opportunity with our cloud solutions…We are creating a massive win-win situation for HotelPlus customers, in other words,” said Bauck, who co-founded HotelOnline with Endre Opal in 2014.

Trond Riiber Knudsen of TRK Group, an Oslo-based venture capital firm and an investor in HotelOnline, said in a statement: “A deal like this helps build a strong African traveltech player, with a local presence and continental. This is a key element of what we wish to contribute through our participation in HotelOnline. We see great potential in the new business and look forward to the journey from here.

HotelOnline helps hotels establish and increase their online visibility to reach a wider customer base. It helps its clients to deploy booking engines and promote themselves on distribution channels like Booking.com, in addition to giving them the ability to manage operations on their own platforms using digital tools based on the cloud, including property management systems. It also offers management services to owners.

HotelOnline said it plans to aggressively expand across Africa, where it currently has more than 6,000 customers in 27 countries, leveraging HotelPlus’ reseller network and the growing hospitality industry – which is recovering strongly from the ravages of the pandemic. Its immediate plans are to build a dominant position in East Africa, as well as Nigeria and Senegal, as it strives to become a strong pan-African player.

“HotelPlus has built an impressive sales organization, with competent sales people and an efficient reseller network covering more than ten countries across the continent. Integrating these resources sets the stage for our accelerated expansion in Africa,” Bauck said.

The deal comes months after HotelOnline closed its Series A funding earlier in the year, backed by Yanolja Cloud, a South Korean travel technology company backed by Softbank and Booking.com. It was the first investment in Africa for Yanoljia, which offers cloud-based solutions for accommodation, restaurants and residences, and has more than 43,000 customers in 170 markets.

Yanoljia’s support has given HotelOnline the financial muscle to strike deals and make investments that will help it scale and grow in its current and target markets. Other HotelOnline investors include Tore Hofstad, Stratel AS and a group of angel investors from Nigeria.

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