fbpx
Edit Content

Mark Essien – Biography Of Founder And Executive Officer of Hotels.ng

Mark Essien

Mark  Essien is an entrepreneur, a software developer, and a startup investor. He is the founder of Hotels.ng, a successful online hotel booking platform in Nigeria. Mark’s success with Hotels.ng is inspiring, a story that should inspire and encourage every Nigeria youth. It pays to have focus and be diligent in your pursuit.

Background of Mark Essien

Mark Essien was born on 18th of December, 1980 in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom to Anthony Paul Essien and Monika Essien. His father, Anthony Paul Essien is a political figure in Akwa Ibom State while his mother is child educationist and owns a school, Monika Kindergarten in Ikot Ekpene.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Mark Essien had his primary education in his mother’s school, and his secondary education at Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene. After his secondary education, he moved to Germany for his university education. Mark Essien has a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) in Computer Hardware Engineering from Beuth Hochschule Berlin, Germany and M.Sc. in Computer Science from Freie Universitat, Berlin, Germany.

Mark is happily married to Jenni Naiaretti, a software developer at GeneO Ltd.

Early Career Of Mark Essien

Mark Essien worked part time as a cinema attendant in Germany for two months while he prepared for his mandatory German Language Program and A-Levels examination. He then worked night shifts taking care of a paralyzed man. It was during this period that he learnt programming.

Mark Essien developed a file sharing software, Gnumm which was acquired by Snoopstar.com where he later worked before branching out as a freelance software developer.

The advanced knowledge he acquired in programming at Snoopstar helped him build other products and Hotels.ng.

Genesis of Hotels.ng

Mark desired to build a technology driven business that will survive in Nigeria. Luckily, this was the time Jumia and Konga was making waves in the internet space, so he felt that the hotel and travel industry in Nigeria could use some innovation.

He created the first version of Hotels.ng in 2012 which was just a list of hotels at the time. After observing the traffic generated by the site in a short while, he was convinced it was time to move back to Nigeria and work on his dream.

Fortunately, this was the time Jason Njoku was looking for a viable internet business to invest in through Spark.ng.  So Spark.ng made an initial investment of $75,000 in Hotels.ng for the business to kick off operations in Lagos. Later, after observing their business model and the leadership style of Mark Essien, Spark invested another $150,000 in Hotels.ng. The funds helped Hotels.ng grow and expand their hotel listings.

Other Investments

Hotels.ng continues to grow unlike other start-ups that started with them. This is hugely due to Mark Essien’s leadership style. Mark has continued to run a lean methodology and has employed a workable SEO marketing strategy for hotels.ng and positioning himself as an authority on twitter.

In 2015, the company raised an additional $1.2M from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network, and Echo VC Pan African Fund to expand across Africa.

Early this year, Hotels.ng launched Hotel.africa and a corresponding flights service, Fly.africa. Hotels.africa has over 27,312  hotels in Africa and covers hotels in CapeTown, Sandton, Knysna, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Nigeria, Nairobi, Malindi, Masai Mara, Kenya, Mombasa and Nakuru.

Mark co-invested with Spark.ng in an online startup, OgaVenue in 2016. OgaVenue is an event venue booking platform with over 6000 event venues across Nigeria.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Skilled labour is a challenge especially software programming and design skills. A very skilled developer is likely to be with a big company or very expensive to hire. As the tech ecosystem in Nigeria is growing so is the demand for tech skills. There is demand for young people who can build ideas into great products. Mark Essien saw this challenge and did something about it by starting a Remote Internship Program. This program which started in 2016 train young people in software development. Interns are presented with real-life programs which they are expected to solve using programming and design skills. The interns are also rewarded with stipends. These interns have built amazing products like:

  • Spots.ng – a directory of interesting places to visit.
  • Hotels.africa –international hotel booking site in Africa.
  • Fly.africa – a flight booking site for cheaper airlines.
  • Hotels.ng Mobile App – for conveniently booking affordable hotels with the help of GPS locator.

Many organisations have come to identify with the internship program and so far the program has trained over 5000 people with 100 % job placement rate for participants who make it to the final stage of the internship.

Mark Essien speaks frequently on TEDx, an international community organized to celebrate locally-driven ideas elevating them to a global stage. Mark talked about leveraging networks to build a business at 2016 TEDxEuston, and how Africa can lead in the global technology space at 2015 TEDxGbagada.

Recognition and Awards

  • Forbes list of Africa’s 30 Youngest Entrepreneur 2015
  • 21 Nigerian Tech CEO’s at the Top of their Game 2015
  • 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians 2016
  • 100 Most Influential Young Africans 2016

Let’s create visibility for your brand and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice for our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

To keep track of our activities, follow us on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Techpoint

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

2 thoughts on “Mark Essien – Biography Of Founder And Executive Officer of Hotels.ng”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join Entrepreneurs Family

No spam, only business insights and tips. 

Entrepreneurs Sign Up

Business Registration

Most Popular

Join Entrepreneurs Family

No spam, only business insights and tips. 

Entrepreneurs Sign Up

Related Posts

How to close business deals

How To Close Deals And Increase Income For Entrepreneurs

How do you close deals? How do you close your first business deal and grow income year on year? This article explores how entrepreneurs can diversify, create new revenue streams, and close business deals using my own companies as examples. I’ll also share tips for closing deals. Selling More: Diversifying

Startup launch hacks

Startup Launch Hacks To Successfully Start Your Business

Launching a startup can be both exciting and daunting. Effective startup launch strategies are essential for navigating the competitive business space which is why we will be discussing startup launch hacks to help you launch your startup successfully. These strategies can be the difference between success and failure. See Also:

Important Business Skills

Top 5 Important Business Skills for Every Entrepreneur

Nigeria is experiencing a surge in entrepreneurial activities. More people are venturing into business, creating a vibrant and competitive environment. This growth is exciting but also challenging. Entrepreneurs face many obstacles, from financial constraints to market competition. To succeed, entrepreneurs need important business skills. See Also: How to transition from

Scroll to Top

Join Entrepreneurs Family!

Get access to FREE business insights and funding opportunities daily.

Entrepreneurs Sign Up