SA-based digital accommodation and booking platform Alimama Spaces is looking to expand beyond South African borders.
By Admire Moyo – News Editor, ITWeb
Founded in 2015, Alimama Spaces is a start-up company that offers accommodation through platforms such as Airbnb, Trivago and Booking.com.
In an interview with ITWeb, Robert Manson, founder of Alimama Spaces and Alimama Capital, says the company has grown to 172 listings across the major cities in SA, with more listings in Johannesburg, Cape Town and recently in Durban.
He adds that Alimama Spaces offers end-to-end management of these spaces on most booking digital platforms.
The company is also looking to tap into technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to improve user experience.
With business booming, Manson says the next move is to make forays into the African continent.
“Alimama Spaces has been contemplating expanding into African countries for a while now,” he says.
“This gained huge momentum at the height of COVID-19 and we have been aggressively looking at the property acquisitions in three countries – Mauritius, Namibia and Malawi. We have identified prime sites Turtle Bay, as well as Azuri Ocean and Golf Resorts in Mauritius.”
Manson notes Alimama Apartments in Mauritius will go live in the first quarter of 2023.
He adds that in Malawi, the company is in negotiations to fully acquire 15 villas in Cape Maclear Island, and “if all goes well, Alimama Villas will be going live in the second half of next year”.
Plans are also afoot for the company to go live in Walvis Bay, Namibia, in the first quarter of 2024.
“Africa is an exciting space to be doing business; there will be a need for us to customise our operating and profit formula so that it suits the environment across these three countries.
“One thing for sure is that these spaces will continue being digitally managed with minimal staff. I am very optimistic that this first phase of African expansion will be a success that will lead to many more opportunities to expand into the rest of the region.
“My vision has been to grow the business to 250 listings over three years, and we are currently one year ahead of target, as these current listings outside of South Africa will take the listing to 250 spaces.”
Manson adds the end of the state of disaster has been a blessing in so many ways for Alimama Spaces.
This, after the hospitality industry was hugely impacted by the pandemic lockdown and the travel restrictions that followed.
“Since December 2021, Alimama Spaces has seen a huge spike in demand and we have seen month-on-month growth and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. We broke the record in August when we hosted over 3 500 people across all the spaces.”
This article first appeared on ITWeb, read the original here.