Local investment firm Altheus led a $2 million seed round in Travelbeta, a Nigerian online travel agency, last week. Other investors participating in the round were not named and the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The startup, which has revenues of $522,000, began operating as a physical agency in July this year before switching online in October.
The capital will be used to boost the firm’s marketing activities, improve the firm’s technology platform, especially with regard to mobile functionality, and recruit more employees. Highlighting the opportunity for Travelbeta, Nigeria’s Statistics Bureau estimates that some 21 million Nigerians have travelled in and out of the company through the airports over the last 12 months, with only 300,000 reservations made through online booking agencies in the same period.
“We have raised a seed fund of $2,000,000 from a group of Nigerian Investors who believe we can dominate the Nigerian Travel Industry in the next 3 years based on our unique business model, the capability of the team leading this vision and the potential of the market size in Nigeria,” commented Onyeka Akumah, Travelbeta’s Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer. “We are also in further talks with an increasing number of interested investors outside the country who are beginning to take African and in particular Nigerian travel numbers seriously.”