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Ex-Jumia and Konga executive Onyeka Akumah and others have launched TravelBeta (“beta” pronounced as pidgin English for “better”), a platform that seeks to disrupt Nigeria’s online booking space. Akumah is joined by Wole Ayorinde, who has worked in Silicon Valley for 13 years and is TravelBeta’s Chief Technology Officer. Another member of the team is David Asuku, the company’s operations manager who for the past 15 years has worked with TravelBeta’s major competitors — Wakanow and Holloway Travels.
The new platform will seek to compete in a space dominated by industry heavyweights including Wakanow, Travelstart, Hotels.ng and Jovago. But the experienced founders said they are aiming to convert Nigeria’s several millions of offline booking customers to those that are using the online platform to make their travel bookings.
“Nigeria recorded approximately 15 million travel bookings in the last 12 months,” the team revealed. Breaking down the industry figures, the team added that nine million international flights were booked during the past twelve months, out of which only 300 000 were booked online.
The team wants to change this:
TravelBeta aims to significantly blow up the online booking market through its superior customer experience delivery, provision of the cheapest travel rates in the country, 95% success-rate visa advisory services to destinations like Dubai, London or Cape Town and world-class technology matched only by Telecommunication companies in Nigeria.
The company is supported by Amadeus and IATA and provides bookings to over 300 000 hotels worldwide, including over 1 000 Nigerian hotels and flights to 900 destinations worldwide.
Speaking at the launch, Akumah said the company has the backing of Nigerian investors who are willing to grow the business for as long as it takes to establish TravelBeta as the premium online travel and destination management company in this region.
“Our promise to every customer who uses TravelBeta is that you will get the best of professionalism from our well-trained team of customer travel consultants who will provide Nigerians with all the information they need about booking smarter when they travel while making available unbeatable travel fares especially in this season,” he said.
According to him, TravelBeta is ready to match the best travel offers available to Nigerians today only if they handle their bookings online or call their customer service desk.