ogaVenue the Lagos-based online events venue booking platform, today announces that it has secured a $45k seed investment from Spark and Hotels.ng. The investment will be used to increase inventory, for further expansion to more states across Nigeria and to build out the product, engineering and business development team.
Launched in 2014, the online events venue search & booking platform enables customers to source the perfect venue for weddings, conferences or birthdays. After just one year of trading, ogaVenue already lists 2000+ venue options across 17 states in Nigeria, including some of Lagos’ busiest venues, including Harbour Point, Mimaya Event Centre and FM Event Centre.
Each venue listing on ogaVenue provides detailed information including availability, location, capacity, facilities, costings, images [including virtual 360° visits] and policies. Users can also read reviews given by other ogaVenue users. This level of information had previously been unavailable to anyone looking to book an event venue in Nigeria, and much time and energy was wasted on numerous location visits.
Andrew Airelobhegbe, ogaVenue CEO says: “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. 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.”
Bastian Gotter, Spark co-founder adds: “The OgaVenue venue team combined their 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”.
Mark Essien, Hotels.ng founder and CEO adds: “For us, the ogaVenue deal was a no brainer. Andrew is probably the smartest young entrepreneur in the Eco-system, and he has built a business that’s showing amazing numbers and traction. 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”.
The events industry in Nigeria is estimated to be among the most extravagant in the world and pegged at $20 Billion, with 25% of each event cost spent on venue rental. An average Nigerian middle class family / company spends over $15,000 per event. Government figures reveal that in Lagos State alone, over 20,000 events are held each month and over $300,000,000 was spent annually in organizing some form of social event.
ogaVenue was launched in 2014 by Andrew Airelobhegbe, former CTO at Amsbro.com (An EdTech startup), who was also named among Africa’s Top 10 Young Visionary Fellow by the Indian Government through the IndiAfrica Project and co-founder Impact Airelobhegbe. He is joined by Praise Osagie and Godstime Asine as part of his exec team.