Travelstart, the South African-based Online Travel Agency (OTA) with offices throughout Africa and subsidiaries in the Middle East and Turkey, on Wednesday announced a capital raise of $40 million from Amadeus Capital Partners, the global technology investor.
With the new funding comes a strategic partnership with Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications provider MTN, which has a subscriber base of more than 230 million. The funding will be used for Travelstart’s expansion and to solidify the company’s position as the biggest OTA player on the continent.
Africa is considered the final frontier in online travel. In most mature economies, web and mobile travel purchases makes up the lion’s share of the online travel market. However, web-based travel makes up less than 5% of the entire online travel market in Africa.
“Africa is a $50 billion travel market growing between 3% and 5% annually” – Stephan Ekbergh, CEO, Travelstart
“Travelstart celebrates 10 years in Africa this year,” says Travelstart CEO Stephan Ekbergh. “In that time our in-house team has built a robust platform to serve consumers and significantly lower fares for all travelers. We take all the complexities out of travel for both travelers and suppliers and solve real problems that only exist in the most diverse of markets.”
“Africa alone is a $50 billion travel market growing between 3% and 5% annually. The investment from Amadeus Capital and the MTN partnership is a fantastic fit for our company as we share the same ideology and long-term commitment,” said Ekbergh.
Amadeus Capital Partners’ Andrea Traversone will join Travelstart’s Board of Directors as part of this financing.
“The market potential for Travelstart is huge and the company is already a tour de force in emerging markets. They are one of the most profitable e-commerce companies on the African continent and with this new round of funding, Travelstart will be able to fast-track its already rapid growth. We’re excited to spearhead this round and to see the company’s continued growth and success,” said Traversone.
MTN’s Group Chief Digital Officer Herman Singh added: “MTN’s vision is one of delivering a Bold New Digital World and this investment in partnership with Amadeus is a key step on a multi-year journey to achieve that promise. It strongly complements our existing investments in online and e-commerce in retail, marketplaces, classifieds and travel. This investment in the largest multi-national player in a very large and rapidly growing market positions MTN as an enabler of exciting new leading edge businesses. The MTN footprint, subscriber base, payment capability, network and brand awareness strongly underpin the synergies already being manifested in our other investments. We look forward to working with Amadeus and the Travelstart team to accelerate the business development of this adjacency.”
- South African digital insurance distributor Hepstar raises $2M from UK-based Amadeus Capital
- Travelstart appoints Philip Akesson as Nigeria Country Manager
- South Africa’s MTN bets on mobile banking with new CEO
- German tech incubator Rocket Internet, one of the parent companies of Africa Internet Group (AIG), plans 2014 IPO
- Travelstart’s new Flapp app makes flight bookings on South Africa’s busiest air route easy
- African tech startups raise record-breaking $370M in 2016: Partech Ventures (Infographic)
- Ringier Africa and One Africa Media form joint venture
- Venture capital funding for African tech startups is really taking off – here’s why
- South Africa’s Naspers returns to bond market to fund emerging markets internet acquisitions
- South Africa’s Silvertree Capital to invest $10M in African startups
- Goldman Sachs & MTN to invest $245M in Nigerian e-commerce firm Africa Internet Group (AIG)
- South Africa’s Naspers invests $100M in smartphone start-up Letgo
- WorldRemit Africa revenue to double by 2020 on mobile money, says Founder & CEO Ismail Ahmed
- Nigeria’s Cars45 closes $5M round to digitize Africa’s used autos markets
- French telco giant Orange to invest $85 million in Nigerian e-commerce group Africa Internet Group
- AXA buys 8% stake In Africa Internet Group for €75M ($85M) valuing company at over $1B
- Why you should take chances: Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director of top African hotel booking website Jovago (Video)
- South Africa’s Naspers betting on e-commerce growth in emerging & frontier markets
- PayPal signs up “tens of thousands” in Nigeria in first week: Malvina Goldfeld, Head, Business Development for Sub Saharan Africa, Paypal
- Nigerian travel startup Hotels.ng wants to conquer Africa (Video)
- An interview with Spinlet’s CEO, Nkiru Balonwu, and Head of Business Development, Oye Akindeinde (Video)
- WeChat Africa plans to invest $3.5 million in tech startups
- Investment in Africa’s tech start-ups on the rise
- Investment in Africa’s tech start-ups on the rise
- Africa Internet Group (AIG), operators of Jumia, Easy Taxi, Lamudi, Carmudi, HelloFood, Kaymu, and Jovago, moves offices to Yaba, Nigeria’s Silicon Valley
- Nollywood drives growth in Nigeria
- Venture Capital Firm 500 Startups Seeks First Nigeria Tech Deals
- Here’s what could happen if Africa’s top mobile operators and start-ups work together
- MTN to invest $225M in Africa Internet Group (AIG)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) acquires Johannesburg-based digital banking startup TYME for undisclosed amount
- Meet Mark Essien, Founder & CEO of Nigeria’s Hotels.ng (Video)
- Nigeria’s ToLet.com.ng raises $1.2M from Frontier Digital Ventures
- Nigerian entrepreneur aims to plug energy project funding gaps with new startup
- South Africa’s start-ups raise the highest amount in venture capital funding but Nigeria gets the highest number of investments
- Fashion-conscious Lagosians switch to online shopping
- African startups raised $185.7M in 2015
- Nigeria’s ‘Netflix of Africa’ iROKOtv made a 3,000% return for investors
- Ghana’s startup hub pioneer MEST is going pan-African with a $50 million fund
- Convergence Partners invests $20M in Nigerian fintech firm Venture Garden Nigeria (VGN)
- Africa’s largest company Naspers adds Nigeria to ‘BRIC’