African online accommodation platform homes in on Mauritius
The island economy represents a major opportunity compared to Kenya where doing business is becoming harder, as the country is ridden with corruption, high taxes and bureaucracy. (Image: SleepOut.com)
Boosting Mauritius’ bid to become a technology hub for African companies, SleepOut.com, an African online accommodation platform, has shifted the bulk of its operations from its headquarters in Nairobi to Mauritius.
Focused on growing into a world-class accommodation marketplace for the entire globe and not just for Africa and the Middle East, SleepOut is getting the advantage of the island economy’s famed multilingual support, product development and stable business environment.
“The move was initiated due to the country’s business climate and reputation for customer service,” said SleepOut CEO Johann Jenson.
SleepOut.com, founded in Lamu Island in Kenya, noted that Mauritius is ranked first in the African region for doing business, and twentieth worldwide.
The island economy thus represents a major opportunity compared to Kenya where doing business is becoming harder, as the country is ridden with corruption, high taxes and bureaucracy – a complete turn-off for startups.
“The team is looking to join an emerging high tech ecosystem in Mauritius, which has developed from a low to middle-income economy in just a few years. The island nation, often compared with Asia’s high tech hub Singapore, also enjoys overwhelming government support for ventures in the tech world as it attempts to make ICT one of the pillars of its new economy,” the company said in a statement.
With 40% of all tourists to Mauritius making use of vacation rentals, the company will be able to better test assumptions before launching projects globally.
“We will be retaining our ground operations team in Kenya and very little has changed about the company and our objectives in East Africa,” said Jenson.
“With the new office and software team in Mauritius, we are looking to provide better support to our hosts and travellers across the 43 countries where SleepOut currently operates,” he added.
With 1.3 million inhabitants compared to Kenya`s 40+ million inhabitants, the island has the highest GDP per capita in Africa and boasts excellent skilled labor with a trilingual customer support across the English, French and Portuguese languages.
Besides, Mauritius also has a good pool of both domestic and imported technical talent to support technology start-ups, turning it into a mecca for ICT firms like SleepOut.
SleepOut.com, founded in December 2011 on Lamu Island, Kenya, is an e-commerce booking service.
The online accommodation platform assists travelers in obtaining discounted rates for accommodation in hotels, private homes, apartments, castles, boats, tree houses, and other unique properties.
The website serves as a platform connecting guests from around the world with accommodation suppliers in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean islands.
In 2013, the company released a user-generated platform offering 3,000 accommodation options in 32 countries across Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean islands.