Africa’s Airbnb, Nwanndo goes live despite low tourism activity due to COVID-19

NIGERIA – Nigeria based tech startup, Nwanndo which offers accommodation and tour guide services, has been launched despite the continent experiencing depressed tourism activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Founded by Okereke Ikenna and Venetia Grant, Nwanndo connects people with places to stay and things to do around Africa, and allows individuals to monetise their extra space or travel expertise.

The startup which calls itself the Airbnb for Africa aims to open up a new type of tourism trade in Africa, removing the need for travel agents and helping locals make money while showcasing the best the continent has to offer.

According to its co-Founder Ikenna, Nwanndo allows travellers a less expensive option while at the same time enabling local renters to mitigate the high costs of rent and to have more flexibility.

Ikenna also noted that the African version of Airbnb helps small investors that want to be more involved than just being a traditional landlord a higher return to their investments.

Ikenna acknowledges that the timing was not great, but with confidence noted that there has never been a perfect time to start a business.

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the tourism industry due to the resulting travel restrictions enforced by governments to check the spread of the virus,” Ikenna said.

 He was however optimistic that despite of its challenges, this period is “ a great time for us to look inwards, to the development and exploring of our tourism industry.

Nwanndo is currently operating in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania, and is looking to expand to the rest of Africa and overseas as it enters into discussions with investors.

The platform, which charges hosts a 10 per cent commission on any booking, did not launch at an opportune time, given the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns and travel bans, but has so far rented out two rooms.

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