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FormerlySavanna Sunrise
Industrytravel technology
FoundersEndre Opdal, Håvar Bauck
ServicesE-commerce, digital marketing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
RevenueIncrease NOK23 million (expected 2019)[1]
Number of employees
42 (January 2017)[2]

HotelOnline is a travel technology company, offering a suite of digital tools for e-commerce, online marketing and operations automation to the hotel industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company helps hotels digitize operations and offers managed distribution to online channels, such as Online Travel Agents (OTAs), Global Distribution Systems, and metasearch engines. HotelOnline partners with Expedia,, Hotelbeds, Airbnb and Ctrip[3]

The company is incorporated in Dubai, with offices in Nairobi, Lagos, Kampala, Dakar and Oslo.


HotelOnline was founded as Savanna Sunrise Ltd.[4][5] in Dubai in 2014, by Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck,[6] to facilitate e-commerce and online marketing for hotels in Eastern Africa. After growing rapidly in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda,[7] in 2015 and 2016, Savanna Sunrise acquired Hotel Online Sp. z.o.o.[8][9] in Poland in 2017 after the initial collapse of the much-publicized three-way merger talks[10][11][12] that also included Hospitality Technology Solutions Ltd (t/a "HotelOga")[13][14] in Nigeria. The new group rebranded to HotelOnline later in 2017,[8] and launched their own Nigerian operation.[15]

Later in 2017, HotelOnline raised USD 200,000 in an equity crowdfunding, the first known case of an African technology startup successfully using this funding method.[16]

In May 2018, HotelOnline acquired[17] Senegalese travel technology company Teranga Solutions as part of their expansion into francophone Western Africa. The company at the same time also acquired European Travel Group AS.[18]

In 2019, prominent startup investor Shravan Shroff invested an undisclosed amount in HotelOnline, and joined their Board of Directors. Shroff is known for his role as the first investor in traveltech unicorn OYO Rooms.[1][19] Trond Riiber-Knudsen, known as Norway's most active startup investor, also co-invested an undisclosed amount.[19]

In September 2019, as part of their expansion into the Nordic market, HotelOnline acquired the Norwegian operations of Key Butler,[20][21] a leading Nordic short term apartment rental company.

In 2020, HotelOnline acquired former competitor Africabookings, and the Cloud9 Lifestyle app.[22][23][24] This received some notable attention, as HotelOnline was seen as going against the stream when most of the travel industry in Africa was in a crisis.[22][24]


HotelOnline provides a cloud-based suite of tools for automated online distribution and hotel operations, reservations management and AI-driven dynamic pricing.


HotelOnline has offices in Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar and Oslo. In 2019 the company announced that it had a client portfolio of more than 1500 hotels in 18 markets.[8] With the Africabookings acquisition in 2020, the company claimed to have increased this portfolio by 5000 properties[24] around Africa.


  1. ^ a b Charlesen, Henrik (8 July 2019). "Putter penger i afrikansk hotellbooking". Finansavisen. pp. 18–19.
  2. ^ "HotelOnline LinkedIn page". LinkedIn.
  3. ^ Wakoba, Sam (2018-09-27). "HotelOnline signs up over 1500 hotels across 17 markets in Africa, Europe & South Asia". Nairobi.
  4. ^ Southwood, Russell (2016-04-08). "Savanna Sunrise opens up global online hotel bookings in East Africa". Balancing Act Africa. London.
  5. ^ Charlesen, Henrik (2017-03-06). "Nordmenn er ledende på hotellbooking i Afrika". Finansavisen (in Norwegian). Oslo. pp. front, 31, 32.
  6. ^ Changarampatt, Manoj (2017-12-06). "Founder Havar Bauck, on Building HotelOnline to Become a Hotel Booking Stalwart". Techweez. Nairobi.
  7. ^ Chege, Kimani (2019-04-25). "How two Norwegians turned Kenyan built a global traveltech success from five apartments in Syokimau". The Exchange. Dar es Salaam.
  8. ^ a b c Timm, Stephen (2019-07-11). "Norwegian Håvar Bauck's Kenyan startup HotelOnline announces it's raised $320k". Ventureburn. Johannesburg.
  9. ^ Koumelis, Theodore (2017-06-17). "Local go Global – African Hotels Equipped with a New Business Engine". Travel Daily News. Cyprus.
  10. ^ May, Kevin (February 20, 2017). "HotelOga and Savanna Sunrise merge, plot travel tech domination in Africa". Phocuswire.
  11. ^ Tubei, George (2017-02-16). "HotelOga and Savana Sunrise merge together to take on the world". Pulse Live by Business Insider. Nairobi.
  12. ^ Southwood, Russell (2017-03-01). "Combining to Create Scale – Kenya's Savanna Sunrise Merges With Nigeria's Hoteloga". AllAfrica. London.
  13. ^ Dada, Benjamin (2019-02-18). "HotelOnline management clears the air about Marek's involvement with the company". Lagos.
  14. ^ Southwood, Russell (2018-04-01). "Travel Tech Start-Up Hotelonline's Co-Founder Havar Bauck On a Merger That Almost Went Wrong". London.
  15. ^ Adepoju, Paul (2017-06-15), "HotelOnline announces merger, appoints former Jovago head as Nigeria country manager", Innovation Village, Lagos
  16. ^ Nwanekwu, Lucky (2019-07-17). "Nigerian investors join Shroff for a stake in HotelOnline". BusinessDay. Lagos.
  17. ^ "HotelOnline acquires Senegalese Teranga Solutions to bolster its hotel booking business in Africa". TechMoran. Nairobi. 2018-05-15.
  18. ^ Charlesen, Henrik (2018-05-07). "Tar norsk reiselivsteknologi til Afrika". Finansavisen (in Norwegian). Oslo. pp. front, 31, 32.
  19. ^ a b BW Online Bureau (2019-07-10). "Shravan Shroff Joins HotelOnline Board of Directors". Businessworld. Delhi.
  20. ^ Wakoba, Sam (2019-09-12). "HotelOnline merges with Key Butler, a Norwegian traveltech startup". TechMoran. Nairobi. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  21. ^ Erichsen, Vilde (2019-09-10). "Key Butler slår seg sammen med afrikansk hotellkjempe: Vil kapre utleiemarkedet".
  22. ^ a b Kazeem, Yomi. "African tech startups are beating the pandemic's odds and racking up multimillion-dollar exits". Quartz. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  23. ^ "Kenyan travel-tech HotelOnline on major onslaught of the African market". The Exchange. 2020-07-01. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  24. ^ a b c "Zimbabwe's Africabookings is HotelOnline's second acquisition in a month". Disrupt Africa. 2020-07-10. Retrieved 2020-11-24.