From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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]
ParentHotel Online Holding Pte. Ltd

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 was founded in 2014, by Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck,[3][4] to facilitate e-commerce and online marketing for hotels in Eastern Africa. Initially operating as Savanna Sunrise, the company grew rapidly in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in 2015 and 2016.[5][6] After merging with a Polish competitor in 2017, the company rebranded to HotelOnline and expanded operations to Nigeria.[7][8][9][10][6][11] Later in 2017, HotelOnline raised USD 250,000 in an equity crowdfunding, becoming the first known case of an African company successfully using this funding method.[12]

In May 2018, HotelOnline acquired[13] 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.[14]

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][15] Trond Riiber-Knudsen, known as Norway's most active startup investor, also co-invested an undisclosed amount.[15]

In September 2019, as part of their expansion into the Nordic market, HotelOnline acquired the Norwegian operations of Key Butler,[16][17] a leading Nordic short term apartment rental company.

In 2020, HotelOnline acquired former competitor Africabookings, and the Cloud9 Lifestyle app.[18][19][20] 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.[18][20]

In April 2022, Yanolja, a South Korean travel technology firm backed by Softbank and announced their investment of an undisclosed amount in HotelOnline.[21] Later, in September 2022, HotelOnline announced the USD 1.9 million acquisition of Kenyan competitor HotelPlus.[22][23][24]


HotelOnline provides a cloud-based suite of tools for automated online distribution and hotel operations, reservations management and AI-driven dynamic pricing.[25]


  1. ^ a b Charlesen, Henrik (8 July 2019). "Putter penger i afrikansk hotellbooking". Finansavisen. pp. 18–19.
  2. ^ "HotelOnline LinkedIn page". LinkedIn. May 2022.
  3. ^ Changarampatt, Manoj (2017-12-06). "Founder Havar Bauck, on Building HotelOnline to Become a Hotel Booking Stalwart". Techweez. Nairobi.
  4. ^ Charlesen, Henrik (2017-03-06). "Nordmenn er ledende på hotellbooking i Afrika". Finansavisen (in Norwegian). Oslo. pp. front, 31, 32.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b Timm, Stephen (2019-07-11). "Norwegian Håvar Bauck's Kenyan startup HotelOnline announces it's raised $320k". Ventureburn. Johannesburg.
  7. ^ Tubei, George (2017-02-16). "HotelOga and Savana Sunrise merge together to take on the world". Pulse Live by Business Insider. Nairobi.
  8. ^ Southwood, Russell (2017-03-01). "Combining to Create Scale – Kenya's Savanna Sunrise Merges With Nigeria's Hoteloga". AllAfrica. London.
  9. ^ Koumelis, Theodore (2017-06-17). "Local go Global – African Hotels Equipped with a New Business Engine". Travel Daily News. Cyprus.
  10. ^ Southwood, Russell (2018-04-01). "Travel Tech Start-Up Hotelonline's Co-Founder Havar Bauck On a Merger That Almost Went Wrong". London.
  11. ^ Adepoju, Paul (2017-06-15), "HotelOnline announces merger, appoints former Jovago head as Nigeria country manager", Innovation Village, Lagos
  12. ^ Nwanekwu, Lucky (2019-07-17). "Nigerian investors join Shroff for a stake in HotelOnline". BusinessDay. Lagos.
  13. ^ "HotelOnline acquires Senegalese Teranga Solutions to bolster its hotel booking business in Africa". TechMoran. Nairobi. 2018-05-15.
  14. ^ Charlesen, Henrik (2018-05-07). "Tar norsk reiselivsteknologi til Afrika". Finansavisen (in Norwegian). Oslo. pp. front, 31, 32.
  15. ^ a b BW Online Bureau (2019-07-10). "Shravan Shroff Joins HotelOnline Board of Directors". Businessworld. Delhi.
  16. ^ Wakoba, Sam (2019-09-12). "HotelOnline merges with Key Butler, a Norwegian traveltech startup". TechMoran. Nairobi. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  17. ^ Erichsen, Vilde (2019-09-10). "Key Butler slår seg sammen med afrikansk hotellkjempe: Vil kapre utleiemarkedet".
  18. ^ a b Kazeem, Yomi. "African tech startups are beating the pandemic's odds and racking up multimillion-dollar exits". Quartz. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  19. ^ "Kenyan travel-tech HotelOnline on major onslaught of the African market". The Exchange. 2020-07-01. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  20. ^ a b "Zimbabwe's Africabookings is HotelOnline's second acquisition in a month". Disrupt Africa. 2020-07-10. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  21. ^ Chege, Kimani (2022-04-21). "South Korean unicorn Yanolja invests big in Kenya traveltech HotelOnline". The Exchange. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  22. ^ Njanja, Annie (2022-09-12). "Kenya's HotelOnline acquires hospitality software company HotelPlus". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  23. ^ "HotelOnline acquires HotelPlus to accelerate expansion across Africa". Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  24. ^ O'Neill, Sean; September 12th, Skift; EDT, 2022 at 3:49 PM. "Kenya's HotelOnline, Backed by Yanolja, Buys Hotel Software Brand HotelPlus". Skift. Retrieved 2023-10-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ "Solutions – HotelOnline". Retrieved 2024-03-25.