Accommodation marketplace SleepOut wins Startup Battle of the Cities 2014


SleepOut — the popular African accommodation marketplace — has recently been named the winner of the 2014 Startup Battle of the Cities (SBOC) at IdeaLab! – The Founders’ Conference, Germany.

The competition is part of IdeaLab! – The Founders Conference, an annual event that brings together ambitious students, young founders, seasoned investors and experienced entrepreneurs in an environment that promotes the exchange of ideas and networking.

Other startups that pitched were V1ntage, which represented Chisinau, Moldova; Pzartech representing Tel Aviv, Israel; and Coindrum representing Dublin, Ireland, to win the coveted title.

Often referred to as East Africa’s answer to couchsurfing, is an accommodation marketplace that started from the small Indian Ocean island of Lamu before expanding to over 50 countries across Africa.

What really sets SleepOut apart from, say, AirBnb is its unique SMS-driven process that helps facilitate online bookings.

After a nice US$200 000 round of seed investment, which was led by Africa Media Ventures Fund (AMVF) from Amsterdam in 2013, the company recently set up its headquarters in Mauritius — an island nation that is becoming a haven for techpreneurs as it provides a sound environment and ideal working conditions for Africa-focused tech startups as they develop and grow.

SleepOut was also awarded Pivot East’s Winner of the Mobile Enterprise Category last year.



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