Nigeria’s ogaVenue raises $45k from Spark, Hotels.ng

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Lagos-based online events venue booking platform ogaVenue has secured a US$45,000 seed investment from Spark and Hotels.ng, which will be used to increase inventory, build out the team and expand to more states across Nigeria.

Launched in 2014, ogaVenue allows customers to source venues for weddings, conferences and birthdays, and already lists more than 2,000 venue options across 17 states in Nigeria.

Each venue listed on ogaVenue provides detailed information including availability, location, capacity, facilities, costings, images and policies, while users can also read reviews given by other ogaVenue users.

The US$45,000 funding raised from Spark and Hotels.ng will be used to expand the startup’s offering and its geographic scope, with OgaVenue hoping to make the most of opportunities in the Nigerian events industry, which is estimated to be among the most extravagant in the world and valued at US$20 billion.

“We are incredibly excited to join the Spark family as it houses some of the most successful startups in Nigeria and arguably as helped to grow the most successful founders in Nigeria,” said Andrew Airelobhegbe, chief executive officer (CEO) of ogaVenue.

“We’re also thrilled to have attracted the attention of, and investment from, Hotels.ng, a pioneering travel business we have long since admired and followed. With them on board, we are certain that together we will radically change the face of events and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa.”

Spark co-founder Bastian Gotter said the ogaVenue venue team combines strong technical backgrounds with a high sense of commerciality and quickly established industry leadership in the venue booking space.

“We believe this investment is complementary to our earlier investments in Hotels.ng and are very happy to partner with them in supporting ogaVenue with capital and advice. We hope ogaVenue will continue to expand its industry leadership and win big,” he said.

Mark Essien, Hotels.ng founder and CEO, said the ogaVenue deal was a “no-brainer” for his company.

“Andrew is probably the smartest young entrepreneur in the ecosystem, and he has built a business that’s showing amazing numbers and traction,” he said.

“Seeing how closely his business is related to ours, it was obvious that getting involved in this deal would be to both of our advantages – there are clear synergies that can be leveraged on to accelerate growth in both the hotel and the event segments.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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