Hotels.NG

Travel Africa!

H otels.NG is an online hotel booking start-up based in Lagos, Nigeria, that helps customers book good, clean and safe hotels across Nigeria and beyond.

Founded in 2013, Hotels.NG combines classic hotel booking services with a unique impact entrepreneurship component.

In 2015, the company secured funding of $1.2m from international investors EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund.

In January 2018, Hotels.NG announced its international hotel booking site, Hotel.africa. Hotels.ng also launched Fly.africa, its flight booking site, to provide cheap flights to anywhere in the world.

The start-up opened a customer service center in Akwa Ibom State in 2018 and employs 80 people already.

80

people employed.

In 2015, the company secured funding of $1.2m from international investors EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund.

Impact Entrepreneurship – Hotels.NG’s Remote Internship Program

 

After being able to lay the groundworks of the company largely by himself, thanks to his background in computer science and software engineering, Hotels.NG’s founder and CEO Mark Essien eventually began hiring external talent to build his business.

This was when he realized that local tech talent was becoming increasingly scarce and that skilled developers were quickly snatched up by bigger players – or started-up their own businesses.

Acknowledging the dependence of the fledgling Nigerian start-up eco system on the availability of top local tech talent, Mark set up Hotels.NG ground-breaking “Remote Internship”-program in 2016.

The program trains young people with a keen interest in product design and software development to acquire the necessary skills and experience for tech jobs. As part of the program its participants solve real-life problems using their burgeoning programming and design skills.

Being able to take part no matter where they live, the first edition started with 1000 participants from all across Nigeria – logging into their sessions on whatever devices they could find. At the end of the pilot edition, 30 participants made it to the final stage and within one month of completion of the internship they were all placed in jobs at various tech companies and startups.

After the initial success Hotels.NG decided to make the internship a permanent bi-annual program with its interns having built some amazing products since 2016.

In 2018, the program went Pan-African with participants from all over the African continent.

So far the program has trained over 5000 young participants and equipped them with skills and real industry experience they otherwise would have never gained.

The internship has a 100% job placement rate for participants making the final stage – with some working for employers outside Nigeria including U.S. Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies.

Most importantly, the program has become an invaluable, integral part of the Lagos start-up eco system by investing in and training young tech talent urgently needed among local start-ups.

5000

young participants trained.

In 2018, the program went Pan-African with participants from all over the African continent

Mark Essien
Founder & CEO
Mark has been featured in various global publications and in 2015 made the Forbes list of 30 youngest entrepreneurs in Africa.

Mark Essien was born in 1980 in the small town of Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, where his Nigerian father Anthony Paul Essien served as a Special Adviser to the state’s governor on Economic Affairs and his German mother Monika runs a children’s school.

At the age of 19, Mark left his home town in Nigeria to study in Germany.

While preparing for his university entrance exams, Mark took up coding and after graduating from university, has successfully worked as a software developer for renowned clients worldwide.

Long interested in building a technology company that could work in Nigeria, Mark founded Hotels.ng in 2013 to jump into the fledgling online travel space in Africa.

In 2015, Mark secured funding of $1.2m from international investors EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund and has been expanding into other African countries since 2018.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) in Computer Engineering from the Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Freie Universität Berlin.

Mark lives in Lagos and is very involved in the Lagos and Nigerian start-up eco system. He has been featured in various global publications and in 2015 made the Forbes list of 30 youngest entrepreneurs in Africa.