Tripesa, a Ugandan tech startup is taking tourism in East Africa to a whole new level following a successful pre-seed fund round.
This round aimed to raise funds in a bid to find product-market fit before expanding across Africa. Through the use of its industry-specific platform, Tripesa is digitalizing and automating the value chain of the tourism and hospitality industry in Africa.
The company has been funded mostly via founder Eric Osiakwan’s savings and some angel investment from his network. Future Africa, also chipped in a small amount of pre-seed capital.
Other investors who took part in the pre-seed funding of the tech start up include Consonance Investment Managers, and LTNT Investments in June.
What Will Tripesa do With the Seed Funding?
According to what Gonahasa shared with Disrupt Africa, the funds will go towards helping Tripesa find its niche in the market.
Tripesa is striving for “product-market fit” in Kenya and Uganda right now. The rationale behind establishing a market in these two East African countries is because of their mutual interaction.
Many travelers move to and from Uganda and Kenya, and the two countries’ economies depend on mutually beneficial information and monetary exchanges. Thus, they are a pilot as the test markets for cross-border tourism.
How Will Tripesa Help in Tourism Growth?
Tripesa plans to expand across Africa once they find a product-market fit. There are already over 260 small and medium tourism enterprises spread across Uganda and Kenya, and the number is growing every day.
Therefore, the tech firm hopes to bolster these existing tourism entities. Tripesa will enable micro, small, or medium-sized organization (MSME) in the tourism industry to up its online presence.
This will be through building and administering a website which will perform several functions. Some of these functions include collecting bookings and payments, and access a dashboard for managing client relationships.
These tourism firms will access all this even if they have no prior experience with IT courtesy of Tripesa. This tech firm establishes Payments First Business Process Management system.
It allows for the expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises. Further, it will assist you in the distribution and sale of your travel and experience-based goods by creating digital stores on your behalf.
How Big is Africa’s Tourism Industry?
Africa’s tourism industry is worth US$35 billion per year and supports over 24 million jobs across a wide range of industries. From tour operators and travel agencies to guides and transport businesses, tourism is a key financier.
Souvenir shops, museums, events and food and beverage vendors to hotels and resorts also thrive on tourism.
One of the most essential businesses on the African continent, tourism was responsible for 8.5% of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, amounting to 194.2 billion dollars (WTTC, 2020).
In the year 2021, Kenya’s revenues from tourists coming from other countries was 146.5 billion Kenyan shillings (KSh), which is equivalent to approximately 1.3 billion dollars (USD).
This reflected an increase of around 65 percent when compared to the prior year’s numbers. The amount of money generated by the tourism industry in Kenya dropped to Ksh 89 billion in 2020.
It was as a direct result of the precipitous drop in the number of tourists arriving from other countries (774 million U.S. dollars).
During the fiscal year 2018–2019, tourism contributed 1.6 million visitors and 5.6 trillion Ugandan shillings. This is equivalent to $1.60 billion or €1.3 billion as of Dec 2019 to Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP), cites the World Bank.
When compared to its neighbors, Uganda’s tourism industry is still in its infancy and has a long way to go. According to statistics provided by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct impact of tourism expenditures in Uganda amounted to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.
This figure is significantly lower than the 4.8 percent, 5.0 percent, and 5.7 percent figures provided for Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar, respectively.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics1 reports that the proportion of visitors visiting the country for purposes unrelated to business climbed from 21 percent in 2012 to 25 percent in 2019. (from 89,000 to 126,000 tourists).