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Travelstart in strategic partnership with HarbourVest



Travelstart, one of Africa’s leading online travel company, has announced a new partnership with global private markets investment firm HarbourVest, with $58 billion under asset management.

HarbourVest will support Travelstart’s further expansion in geographies and growth in new verticals in the continents $194 billion tourism and travel market. The investment comes on the back of MTNs Asset Realisation Program. MTN and Travelstart will continue their commercial relationship.

“The partnership with HarbourVest is a confirmation of the future opportunity in online travel in Africa, our business and our team,” said Stephan Ekbergh, Founder & CEO, Travelstart Group.


On the heels of this deal, Travelstart continues its growth trajectory in Africa as it is set to wholly acquire the Club Travel Group, a South African travel company. The acquisition will boost Travelstart’s offering by adding Club Travel’s established complementary corporate and franchise divisions, creating a formidable full-service African travel group.

Philip Akesson, Country Manager, Travelstart Nigeria added, “The investment – coupled with the Club Travel acquisition – strengthens our overall group and will as a result help us continue to accelerate our growth in Nigeria.”

With the acquisition, Travelstart and Club Travel enter a co-operation, which will enable the former to expand its business and reach new customers, and the latter to gain the expertise to deliver digital product innovation and remain competitive. Club Travel will continue as a standalone company within the Travelstart portfolio.

Thebe Tourism Holdings (Thebe), the majority shareholder of the Club Travel Group since 2009, will sell its stake in the Club Travel Group to Travelstart. Thebe and Travelstart will jointly invest in and own Club Travel Corporate. The closing of the deal is subject to the approval of the Competition Commission of South Africa.

Travelstart is an online travel company founded on two basic principles; simplicity and best price. The company was founded in 1999 and operates in several countries around the world with offices in Nigeria, Egypt, UAE and South Africa.

The Nigerian office, which is in Lagos, opened in 2012 and focuses on making travel simple by providing an easier way to book online. Travelstart has seen double-digit growth and profitability since inception and is backed by Amadeus Capital Partners and HarbourVest.

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