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Using Tech to Ensure that African Hotels are Equipped to Compete

Zimbabwe-based hotel-booking startup Africabookings is the second platform acquired by B2B firm 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. 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. Endre Opdal, chief executive officer (CEO) of HotelOnline, told Disrupt Africa that though there was no doubt the travel sector had been hit “extremely hard” by the COVID-19 pandemic, “fortunes are made in times of crisis” and HotelOnline had seen opportunities to expand its reach. He explained the rationale behind the Africabookings acquisition, saying the online travel operator had been able to contract over 5,000 properties across Africa.