Marek Zmyslowski's marketing tech company merges with its main rival [EXCLUSIVE]
Once the merger is completed, Zmyslowski will take the role of CEO in the new company while Havar Bauck will be the new company’s Executive Chairman.
The resulting entity could become the largest hospitality marketing technology group in Africa. Jointly, both companies already boast a roster that includes deals with Expedia, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, HotelBeds, and CTrip so they will be looking to consolidate.
“We are so happy to join forces with Savanna Sunrise. This merger will enable us to become the leading company in our sector. Our next goals include: unifying operations within the group and strengthening our dominant position in Africa. We are also preparing our expansion to certain markets in Asia and Eastern Europe, where we can implement our learnings from Africa,“ says Marek Zmyslowski about the merger.
“With this merger, we are writing a new chapter in the evolution of the hospitality sector in Africa. From the position we are building, we are now well poised to expand our footprint to Frontier and Emerging Markets globally. The challenges facing the hospitality sector across these markets are very similar, and we are eagerly preparing to tap into the immense opportunities that exist,” said Havar Bauck.
HotelOga was founded by Marek Zmyslowski (formerly of Jovago/Jumia Travel) and Maciej Prostak. The company had backing from Polish VC SpeedUP and a “prominent Indian Garg family.”
In the one year since it launched, it has contracted over 500 hotels, helping it gain relative traction in the market. Some of the brands that use its technology include Lagos Oriental Hotel and Protea Hotels.
Former hoteliers Endre Opdal and Havar Bauck launched Savanna Sunrise, a travel and hospitality marketing company, in 2014. From its birthplace in Kenya, the company has been able to pull together 400 hotel partners across 14 countries in Eastern and Central Africa.
A statement from the company says Savanna Sunrise “was built without external funding and has been running a profit since day 1.”
At first both companies will operate as separate entities while the new management team works out a unified marketing strategy which would be rolled out “in the near future.”
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