Travelbeta was founded in 2015 by three cofounders Onyeka Akumah, who worked as an executive for Jumia, Wakanow, and Konga, Wale Ayorinde, who is the company’s CTO, worked in Silicon Valley for over 13 years, and David Asuku, who held executive positions at firms such as Wakanow and HollowayTravels.
The platform is on a mission to disrupt the travel industry in Nigeria based on the fact that only 300,000 of the 15 million bookings, that occurred as at the time of its launch, were carried out online.
It is easy to see why Travelbeta aims to revamp travel in Nigeria. Before the emergence of online travel services, Nigeria relied on the offline means of travel which was plagued by several shortcomings. With the rise of Travelbeta and the likes, more initiatives have now been created to encourage a culture of online purchases for travel services in Nigeria.
As at the time of its launch, Onyeka Akuma, one of the co-founders, spoke about the services Travelbeta planned to offer to Nigerians. He said,
“Our promise to every customer who uses Travelbeta.com 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.”– Onyeka Akuma
In 2015, the company closed a $2 million seed fund with Altheus, a local investment firm, and other local investment companies that chose to remain anonymous. This was a remarkable feat for Travelbeta considering that it received the seed fund in the same year of its launch.
In an interview with Tech Cabal, Onyeka explained that the quality of Travelbeta’s team played a big role in attracting the investors
“We’ve been able to assemble great talent in the Travel industry across different departments of the organization. The investors were first convinced about the ability and most importantly the experience of the team to deliver on its mandate,” he said.
He also referenced the market size as a contributing factor. With a 15% growth in the number of travellers in Nigeria over the course of 2015, there is every indication that the travel business is a profitable one and this encouraged the input of investors.
“We want Nigerians to start appreciating traveling within their own locality. We would be growing from just an online travel agency focused on flights, hotels, and visas with the most affordable fares available to building amazing packages for Africans to experience Africa,” Onyeka said.
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