Whether hospitality or booking, Africa presents an enormous opportunity for first-movers right now.
Travelstart, an online travel agency based in South Africa with offices in Dubai, Istanbul, Lagos, Cairo, and Dar es Salaam, picked up a $40 million funding round led by Amadeus Capital Partners and with participation by MTN Group, a telecommunications company.
London-based Amadeus Capital Partners is not related to to travel-tech company Amadeus, headquartered in Madrid.
Travelstart intends to use the funding to expand in Africa beyond its strongest markets, which include South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya.
Founder and CEO Stephan Ekbergh launched Travelstart in Sweden in 1999. He sold Travelstart’s Scandinavian operations in 2010 and the proceeds helped fund the business in Africa.
“Amadeus Capital’s investment comes at an inflexion point for Travelstart, as we capitalize on a boom in online travel bookings across Africa and the Middle East,” Ekbergh says. “Air travel in Africa is expected to grow significantly faster than in most regions globally, with a host of low cost carriers targeting the region.”
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Photo credit: Pictured is Travelstart's on a Microsoft tablet. Travelstart