Press

EP 076: Marek Zmyslowski – Chasing Black Unicorns – Tech Startups And Corruption In Africa

Marek Zmyslowski is a Polish-born entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets. He co-founded HotelOnline.co – a Hospitality Technology Company, and Jumia Travel – Africa’s Biggest Hotel Booking Portal, with backing from Rocket Internet and Goldman Sachs. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the Ten Most Important People in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is a Lead Mentor at Google’s Launchpad and World Bank’s XL Africa Program.

Open in new tab

From Disrupting Africa's Hospitality Industry to Angel Investing

Marek Zmysłowski is a serial entrepreneur turned angel investor, currently based out of Cape Town, South Africa. After the Global Financial Crisis, Marek left the investment banking world and started a few companies in Poland including Mementis, Poland which is the biggest online network of funeral services, which he sold in 2013. In March 2013 he traveled to Poland to cofound Jumia Travel, a Rock Internet backed hospitality company which eventually became Africa's Number 1 Hotel Booking Portal. Marek helped the company grow to 300+ staff members, with offices in 12 African countries, and more than 25,000 hotels in the direct inventory. Marek then stepped down and shortly after founded HotelOga where he helped bring Nigeria's hospitality industry online. After his merger with Savanna Sunrise, he relocated to Cape Town where he invests in and works with the most promising new technology companies in emerging and frontier markets across the world to help them scale up internationally.

Open in new tab

Building the Future – Episode 9, with Marek Zmysłowski

Our guest this week is Marek Zmysłowski. Marek is the cofounder of Jumia Travel (formerly Jovago) and HotelOga. HotelOga is a hotel management system which enables hotels in Africa to have their own booking engine, website, and customer relationship management system.

Open in new tab

Polak buduje technologiczną Afrykę. „Tutaj robi się to inaczej”

Zanim Nigeria stała się domem Marka Zmysłowskiego, był, jak sam stwierdzi, zupełnym ignorantem – o biznesie i życiu w Afryce nie wiedział nic. Pojechał na chwilę, która trwa do dziś. Zatrzymał go rynek. I chociaż okazał się bardzo trudny, to jego zaletą jest żyzność.

Open in new tab

HotelOga and Savanna Sunrise Merge, Plot Travel Tech Domination in Africa

Two African companies have joined forces in a bid to create what they claim will be the biggest hospitality tech group on the continent. Savanna Sunrise and HotelOga will merge under undisclosed “similar valuations”, the pair say in a statement, with management roles being divided up between the original founders of both.

Open in new tab

ISOKO Africa with Tope Hassan: Episode 03 Featuring Marek Zmyslowski

Meet Marek Zmysłowski, AKA Chinedu, a Polish Investor and serial-entrepreneur executive in Nigeria. As CEO/Founder of HotelOGA, Investor & Advisor for TalkingBookz and former Co-founder/Managing Director of Jumia Travel, all companies in Nigeria, he is dedicated to developing and contributing to Nigeria's GDP through Travel and Hosptality Technology.

Open in new tab

My Africa Podcast: Marek Zmyslowski [Episode 30]

Two years ago Marek Zmysłowski moved to Nigeria with Rocket Internet to launch a hotel booking site, Jovago.com, into the Nigerian market. Two years down the line, Jovago has grown to almost twenty thousand hotels and a team of 100 staff members.
Listen to this weeks episode to hear about the journey of a Polish man starting up in Nigeria, the highs and lows and some stories from along the way. Hear Marek’s view on the e-commerce industry in Nigeria, his views on Rocket Internet and what he thinks about rivals: hotels.ng and Mark Essien.

Open in new tab

Why Hospitality Software Companies Lack a Visible Footprint in the Market – Marek Zmysłowski, Creator of HotelOga App

My name is Marek Zmysłowski, a Polish entrepreneur who came to Nigeria over 3 years ago to tap into the growth opportunities of the Nigerian hospitality and online travel space. After three successful years at Jovago I decided to start a new venture – HotelOga – that would enable small and medium sized hotels to broaden their exposure and boost their revenues. Before coming to Nigeria I successfully grew a number of technology startups in Europe. I’m a big fan of Nigerian people and their business spirit. I’ve fallen in love with Africa and decided to stay here longer.

Open in new tab

O Polaku, Który w Nigerii Robi Start-upy

Rzucić wszystko w wieku 27 lat i wyjechać do Afryki, żeby budować tam od zera nową firmę? A może stworzyć start-up, w którym inwestorami zostałyby gwiazdy branży nowych technologii, na przykład twórcy Zalando? Gdybyście mieli taki wybór, co byście wybrali?

Open in new tab

MD of Jovago.com Shares Insight on Online Travel and Hotel Bookings in Africa

Marek Zmysłowski, Managing Director of Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 booking portal explains how online bookings are changing travel in Africa. Jovago is a part of Africa Internet Holding, which has successfully launched other African ventures including Jumia and Kaymu.

Open in new tab

The hospitality industry in sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow

The World Travel & Tourism Council states that the growth of the hospitality industry in sub-Saharan Africa will go above 5% every year for the next decade. This is prompting renewed interest from the top ten international hotel brands which are set to add over 30,000 rooms in the region. Marek Zmysłowski, the Managing Director of Jovago.com joins CNBC Africa to discuss how this will impact the hospitality sector.

Open in new tab

Starting Up In Nigeria and Scaling Across Africa

On February 25, 2015 we (iAfrikan) hosted Marek Zmysłowski - Managing Director at Jovago.com - where he talked about his Oyinbo Lessons. With Jesse Oguntimehin as host, attendees present at Capital Square in Lagos, Nigeria listened as Marek touched on his lessons learned starting Jovago.com in Nigeria and expanding across Africa.

Open in new tab

Why You Should Take Chances: Marek Zmysłowski, Managing Director of the Top African Hotel Booking Website: Jovago (Video)

Marek Zmysłowski is the CEO and Managing Director of Lagos-based Jovago. Jovago is an online marketplace that connects travellers across Africa with hotels. Jovago enables customers to secure hotel rooms through an online platform that is faster, cheaper, and easier than the alternative of making a phone call. Jovago generates revenue by charging hoteliers a commission for hotel bookings made via Jovago.com.

Open in new tab

Nigerian Startups Need To Stop Copying Europe and The US – Marek Zmysłowski

Marek Zmysłowski is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Jovago.com, an online hotels booking service, backed by Rocket Internet, MTN and Millicom. In a recent chat with Techpoint, he had a lot of interesting things to share about how Jovago manages to surmount the obstacles to running an online business in Nigeria.

Open in new tab

5 Lessons from iAfrikan's #OyinboLessons

Attendees present at Capital Square in Lagos, Nigeria listened as Marek touched on his lessons learned starting Jovago.com in Nigeria and expanding across Africa. Event organized by Techpoint.ng

Open in new tab

Taking the Leap: Entrepreneur on Why He Left Poland to Start a Business in Nigeria

Marek Zmysłowski, managing director of Jovago – a popular online hotel booking site in Africa – believes some of his biggest successes have been a result of taking chances, and leaving his home country Poland to move to Lagos to start an online company is no exception.

Open in new tab

Double-Digit Revenue Growth Spurred by Booming African Tourism – Jovago

Nigerian hotel booking platform Jovago sees double-digit revenue growth each month, as it taps into the growing tourism market in Africa, Jovago Nigeria managing director (MD) Marek Zmysłowski has revealed.

Open in new tab

Jovago MD Emerges Only European On Top 10 Most Important Africans In Tech

Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director of Jovago.com has emerged one of the Top 10 Most Important Africans in Tech in 2014. The list, which also featured President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication Technology, was put together to recognize influential technology leaders as well as entrepreneurs who greet the technology scene with innovative concepts and inspirational ideas.

Open in new tab

2014’s Most Important Africans in Tech

The technology space in Africa is growing at an exponential rate. Naturally, the African continent is booming with potential in this sector.
Over the past few months, we have seen a great number of influential technology leaders as well as entrepreneurs greet the technology scene with innovative concepts and inspirational ideas. These African tech leaders are essentially placing Africa on the “map of innovation”.

Open in new tab

"Nigerians have entrepreneurial DNA embedded in them"- Marek Zmysłowski

Mark Zmysłowski lived in Europe for most of his life but needed a challenge at some point and decided to come to Nigeria, where he started Jovago.com, an online hotel booking portal. He says Nigeria has a lot to offer entrepreneurs worldwide.

Open in new tab

Marek Zmysłowski on the Rise? Jovago.com Launches White Label Partnership with Africa World Airlines

Jovago, www.jovago.com – Africa’s largest online hotel booking platform, Marek Zmysłowski has signed a white label partnership with one of West Africa’s largest regional carriers, Africa World Airlines, to provide more accessible hotel booking services to Africans.

Open in new tab

Nigeria: Marek Zmysłowski - From Playing Lego to Building Jovago.com

At 28, he's the oldest staff at a company with the ambitious spread to sub-Saharan Africa. A university drop-out, he's been there, done that in establishing one business enterprise after another. By many standards, he's a young and successful entrepreneur. Focused and brimming with confidence, he exudes the acuity of an astute entrepreneur. With a nose for thriving business ideas, Marek Zmyslowski left Poland for Nigeria to ensure his new enterprise, JOVAGO.COM becomes the next big thing in online hotel bookings in Africa. In a little over a year, with the help of heavy-weight Africa Internet Holdings, it has become the biggest online hotel booking service in Nigeria with over 3,000 hotel destinations in and 140,000 worldwide. He sat down with Oladipo Akinkugbe to narrate his entrepreneurial story.

Open in new tab

15 Questions with the CEO of Jovago – Marek Zmysłowski

My name is Marek Zmysłowski; I‘m Polish and I’m 27 years old. I love sports and could easily pass for a geek. As an enthusiastic entrepreneur, I have co-founded and sold two online businesses. Until now, I have lived my entire life in Europe but at some point I needed a new challenge — an exciting and adventurous one. At the same time, Africa’s start-up scene was burgeoning and I just could not miss out. I moved to Nigeria and started Jovago.com, an online hotel-booking portal. At Jovago.com, our vision is to create the best travel booking experience ever. Wherever you go in Africa, you can find the best hotel and book it in just a few clicks.

Open in new tab

Our Goal is to Help Digitise the Hospitality Industry in Africa

While the Nigerian sector is burgeoning, Marek Zmysłowski, CEO/cofounder, HotelOga, a Nigerian-based company, tells Obinna Emelike in this interview the innovations his company is bringing to the table to further boost the sector.

Open in new tab

From Europe to Lagos... Building Investments Beyond Frontiers

Marek Zmysłowski, the founder and builder of Jovago Limited, a hotel booking company with a focus on providing best rate services to over 20,000 hotels across the continent spoke with Rita Ohai on his "oyinbo vision" for a black continent and the factors stifling development of the local business sector

Open in new tab

It's in Our Interest to Promote Nigeria- Zmysłowski

Marek Zmysłowski is the Managing Director of Jovago.com, Africa's No.1 Hotel Booking Portal which was launched in Nigeria in August, 2013. Before joining Africa Internet Holding (backed by MTN and others), he successfully cofounded and exited two online ventures in his home country, Poland. Marek sold all his shares in his startups and while scouting for where next to invest his entrepreneurial resources, he met the cofounder of Jumia, who convinced him to stake all on Nigeria. Given his hospitality and online skills, the company was born. In an interview with Chisom Ezeh, he explained how his barely 2-year-old is committed to boosting Nigeria's tourism outlook and the challenges it and other Nigerian startups face.

Open in new tab

"If your business succeeds in Nigeria, it can succeed elsewhere"- Marek Zmysłowski

Interview with Marek Zmysłowski, Managing Director of Jovago.com

Open in new tab

"We created HotelOga to address competition, technology challenges"- Zmysłowski

Marek Zmysłowski is the founder and CEO of HotelOga, a mobile application designed to help hotels in Africa get and maximise their online presence.

Open in new tab

A Commitment to Building Jovago to Biggest Brand in Africa

Interview with Marek Zmysłowski, Managing Director at Jovago.com

Open in new tab

"What we have now in Nigeria is the tip of the iceberg."-Marek Zmysłowski

Interview with Marek Zmysłowski, Managing Director at Jovago.com

Open in new tab

Get the recent updates directly into your inbox.

Your e-mail