Afriktrip has launched an online marketplace to connect travellers with tour guides and operators across Africa. The platform also has an array of activities to do to explore Africa.
Travel and tourism contribute over $177.8 billion to Africa's economy, representing 7.1% of the continent's gross domestic product, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
But COVID-19 has been cataclysmal for the promising tourism industry. According to the African Union, the continent lost about $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues between April and June 2020 due to the lockdown implemented by some countries.
Since August, however, countries across the world are beginning to reopen their borders for travellers and tourists. Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are some of the African countries reopening for tourism. Also, Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna, are working on effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Afriktrip is positioning itself to benefit from the November-to-February travel surge that would happen. Thus, it has added a Book Now, Pay Later option to its platform. The BNPL feature allows travellers to reserve space or book a tour and pay only 30 days to the set-date.
Afriktrip is offering 7.5% discount till December 31, 2020. Use BNPL75 at check-out.
"Our mission is to take Africa to the world and bring the world to Africa through tourism powered by technology", Ibukunoluwa Salau, co-founder of Afriktrip, said. "With over 65 million people coming into Africa annually, and that number is increasing, our focus is to make it easy, flexible and affordable for them to find amazing things to do and explore Africa".
All you need to know about Afriktrip: how it works and make money
Afriktrip was founded in February 2020 by Ibukunoluwa Salau. And in October, Angela Kagabo, a Rwandan, joined the founding team. They met during the 10-week virtual talent accelerator programme of the Roundtrip Fellowship.
"The problem we are trying to solve is that over 75% of tours and travel booking worldwide are still done offline and manually by travellers", Ibukunoluwa said. "In Africa, the number is way higher and the process is stressful, time-consuming, and sometimes not trustworthy for either the traveller or the tour operator".
According to an industry report, 148.3 million online travel bookings are made each year. In 2019, $755 billion was generated from online sales and it is expected to increase by 57% to over $800 billion in 2020. But that target may not be reached because of the global pandemic.
Over the past eight months it's been operating in private beta, Afriktrip has partnered with over 270 tour operators across 20 African countries, including DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania. Over 1,000 tours and activities are listed on Afriktrip.
With this public beta launch, Afriktrip is expecting about $30,000 in revenue — $3,000 for Afriktrip and $27,000 for tour partners — from 17 booking inquiries it has received.
Afriktrip charges between 5% — 10% commission on every booking. It also resells travel insurance via World Nomads.
Ibukunoluwa explained that all their tour partners are thoroughly verified. "We ask them to submit a copy of their ID Card, mobile number and incorporation document", he said. "Any [tour] partner suspected to be mischievous is immediately removed and all their tours [are] deleted from our platform".
Afriktrip also use a payment gateway that allows us to refund customers once we can verify their complaints, Ibukunoluwa added.
Afriktrip has been bootstrapping for the past eight months relying on sweat equity from the co-founders, friends and families. It has participated in numerous startup programmes. Notably, Wimbart Office Hours, Founder University, Pioneer Accelerator, and Y Combinator's Startup School.
"We've gotten a lot of amazing deals that has kept our cost down to zero", Ibukunoluwa said. These deals include free incorporation in the United Kingdom, $30,000 Segment credit, $5,000 AWS Cloud credit, and free SendGrid marketing credit.
Afriktrip is looking to raise a pre-seed round. Investors can reach out to them here.
Meet the co-founders: Ibukunoluwa Salau and Angela Kagabo
Angela Kagabo lives in Rwanda. She's a student of International Trade and Business at the African Leadership University.
Angela has worked with the Rwanda Development Board — which also oversees tourism in the East African country — for 11 months and Bongalo, a travel accommodation platform for Africa.
Ibukunoluwa Salau lives in Nigeria. He's a student of Computer Science at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Ogun State — a southwestern state in Nigeria.
Ibukunoluwa has interned with First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Founder Cralocs, AirBnB for film locations. He has also spent the last two years learning about the African travel industry and working with tour operators in different African countries to build a solution that solves their problems.
"We're best suited to build Afriktrip because we have adequate knowledge about the African travel market and the technical know-how. We are also young Africans who are not afraid to fail", Ibukunoluwa said.