Kenya’s Cloud9 is a startup for adventure seekers

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Kenyan startup Cloud9 is seeing solid growth having established itself as the go-to resource for adventure seekers in the East African country.

Launched in 2013 by second-year college friends Emmanuel Miriti and Tesh Mbaabu, Cloud9 is an online retailer of experiences and merchandise, selling a range of outdoor activities and branded apparel.

The startup’s mantra is “High On Life”, as it looks to assist positive, adventure-seeking free spirits in looking for merchandise and experiences.

“There is such a wide range of adrenaline filled and fun activities to choose from in this continent,” Miriti told Disrupt Africa. “However, most people lack information about them as there is no easy way to book for the same. We also realised that price is an important concern to customers booking leisure experiences online.”

Cloud9 looks to fill this gap, and has done pretty well so far. It has attracted a combined following of more than 20,000 social media followers, and has over 10,000 subscribers and customers to date.

“They love what we do and the services we offer because for us it is always about carefully curating each experience for our customers,” said Miriti.

This has lead to strong revenue growth, with Cloud9 projecting sales of over US$80,000 this financial year. This means it has not had to seek funding, with the startup taking a 20 per cent commission on each booking undertaken through its platform.

“We also run a product retail store with apparel and consumer electronics as our core products. The products are niched to what adventure seekers use during the activities we offer – mostly to enhance the experiences they are doing. We also hold monthly events to showcase the experiences, where we sell tickets,” Miriti said.

Cloud9 has already managed to cover the majority of Kenya’s adventure options, and is now looking to expand to East and Southern Africa within the next year.

“Ultimately, we strive to serve the whole world,” Miriti said. “As pioneers in the market, we have constantly been faced with the need to educate the market about the possibilities through our marketing campaigns. Building the culture has been tough, because as said earlier, we strive to do something that has not yet been done in this continent.”

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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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