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Aura: Transcorp Hotels Launches New App For Accommodation Bookings



Aura: Transcorp Hotels Launches New App For Accommodation Bookings
Transcorp Hotel

Transcorp Hotels Plc has launched “Aura”, a new digital hospitality platform through which people could book accommodation and other commitments with the hospitality outfit.

Speaking during the event on Thursday in Abuja, the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mrs. Dupe Olusola, said that the app is perfect for booking vacation homes, business, or holiday lets, and experiences.

Transcorp Hotels Plc is Nigeria’s leading hospitality company and owner of the award-winning Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, and Transcorp Hotels, Calabar.

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Olusola said that “Aura by Transcorp Hotels” is a new alternative digital accommodation platform that connects people to unique homes, great food, and memorable experiences.

She described Aura as Africa’s number one accommodation marketplace that connects people and travelers with quality accommodation and exciting local experiences.

She added that it is part of its asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver the best experience, noting that Aura also shares curated experiences in cities.

The CEO also said that Aura allows experienced curators to earn extra income by listing their properties or services,  adding that the Aura by Transcorp Hotels app is available for download on Android, iOS, which is the world’s most advanced mobile operating system.

She said Aura is an ecosystem of unique modern and tastefully furnished apartments with luxurious ambiance, suitable for families, singles, couples, and a weekend getaway with friends and holidays.

According to her, “the launch of Aura by Transcorp Hotels remains a bright spot for us, following a year where the hospitality sector was severely affected by the pandemic.

“It is an important part of our strategy to grow domestic tourism and travel as well as differentiate our offerings to capture returning travel demand, as access to COVID-19 vaccine continues to improve.

“The launch of Aura is strategic for Transcorp’s hospitality business as we continue to expand and position across the Group to deliver on our promise and vision of improving lives and transforming Nigeria. 

“The pandemic affected our hospitality business in 2020, with occupancy dropping to an all-time low of 5% during the year. 

“But our innovation and resilience positioned us for work on different initiatives, improving our leisure offerings, and activating our asset-light strategy. 

“As we continue on our path to recovery and future growth, the launch of Aura puts us in a great position to benefit from a travel rebound, which we expect as economies continue to open up and access to vaccines makes people feel safer to travel again,” she said.

Mrs. Ifeoma Okafor-Obi, Director of Business Development at Transcorp Hotels, said that the platform is certain to become an integral part of people’s lives.

Okafor-Obi said that it is not just about finding a place to stay, revealing that it is about living one’s best life and enjoying access to the best experience at all touchpoints.

“Enjoyment on the platform, at the unique accommodation, the great meals, and memorable activities are all available on Aura, ” she said.

The Aura by Transcorp Hotels was launched low-key in February but has now officially kicked off in major Nigerian cities, with plans to expand throughout the country and other parts of Africa.

Through Aura, Transcorp Hotels Plc seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel – where you stay, what you eat, and how you spend your time while putting memorable experiences at the center.

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Vendease, closes $30 million Series A round to expand services to more restaurants



In order to link food businesses with suppliers, Wale Oyepeju, Gatumi Aliyu, Olumide Fayankin, and Tunde Kara launched Vendease in 2019.

However, the business quickly encountered other hurdles, such as slow delivery times and problems with quality control.

To handle the flow of food supplies from one point of production to the point of consumption, the business started working on a full payment, logistics, storage, and inventory management system.

By utilizing data, lowering waste, and boosting profitability, Vendease enhances business operations throughout the value chain.

According to the business, their “digital procurement engine” makes it simpler for restaurants in eight locations across Nigeria and Ghana to purchase food supplies at rates markedly lower than those found on the open market, with a 12-hour delivery guarantee.

Additionally, Vendease’s clients can obtain working cash through its Buy Now, Pay Later program, maximizing their chances for expansion.

According to the business, its platform has witnessed a threefold increase in users and a fivefold increase in revenue over the past year.

Through its incorporated finance offering, users have also gotten access to approximately $12 million in inventory.

The funding will make it possible for the company to serve more establishments. Additionally, it will expand its food companies throughout Africa and develop fresh products and services to spur development along the entire food value chain.

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Ted Lasso and Richmond FC Make FIFA23



The upcoming Fifa 23 will allow gamers to play as characters from the popular TV sitcom Ted Lasso.

The newest iteration of the game will feature several fictional AFC Richmond players as well as their manager, who sports a moustache.

Jason Sudeikis, the creator and star of the Apple TV show, called the decision a “dream come true.”

In a brand-new, external trailer that EA Sports released, the characters were introduced.

Additionally, Fifa 23 will be the first version of the game to include female club teams.

Since the release of its first complete season on Apple TV in 2020, Ted Lasso has been one of the platform’s major success stories.

It follows a foolish US sports coach as he tries to save a fictitious English team’s season.

Sudeikis expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership between his program and Fifa in a statement.

“Our cast and crew work tremendously hard on this show, and we are flattered that it resonates with so many folks,” he said.

“We look forward to our fans having the opportunity to play with, play as, and even play against their favourite AFC Richmond characters.”

Two-time Emmy winner Brett Goldstein, who plays AFC Richmond player Roy Kent, jokingly said it would be a chance to extend his character’s on-screen fight with Jamie Tartt into the online world.

“I look forward to beating my nephew in a game with me as Roy Kent and him as Jamie Tartt. He’s gonna be furious,” the actor said.

The titular character played by Sudeikis can be chosen to manage AFC Richmond as well as other teams.

Similar to that, supporters will be able to select or invent a new manager to take charge of AFC Richmond.

Nelson Road, the home field of AFC Richmond, as well as well-known series characters Kent, Tartt, Sam Obisanya, and Dani Rojas will all appear in the game.

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Report: Over $2 billion Raised by 383 Nigerian Tech Firms in the Past Seven Years



According to a report, 383 Nigerian tech startups raised a total of $2 billion in funding between January 2015 and August 2022, more than any other nation in Africa during that time.

This information was revealed in a recent report by Disrupt Africa, a research platform that covers news on African digital companies, titled “The Nigerian Startup Ecosystem Report 2022.”

Based on information gleaned from a list of 481 Nigerian digital firms, the report charts the expansion and growth of that country’s startup ecosystem from 2015 through August 2022.

According to the survey, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria make up the “big four” startup ecosystems in Africa.

“Between 2015 and 2022, 383 tech startups raised a combined $2,068,709,445 a higher total than any other country,” the report said.

According to the report, as of August 2022, 107 Nigerian firms have raised money, making up about one-third of all funded startups on the continent this year.

According to the report, the nation’s running total for 2022 is $747.9 million, which is very close to the previous year’s yearly record total of $793.8 million.

It said that earlier this year, the largest round in history was also held in Nigeria.

“Fintech Flutterwave netted a $250 million Series D round, reflecting both the enhancing maturity of the Nigerian ecosystem and its prowess in the fintech space,” it said.

With at least 481 startups active across the country as of August 2022, Lagos leads the way with no fewer than 425 – 88.4 per cent of the startups tracked by the report based out of the city.

“Capital city Abuja comes a poor second with just 23 ventures, while activity is also in evidence in 13 other locations,” the report said.

According to the report, a total of 173 of the startups tracked (36 per cent) are fintech ventures, almost three times more than its nearest challenger.

“That is e-commerce and retail tech, which account for 12.1 per cent of Nigerian tech startups, with e-health and ed-tech coming in third and fourth respectively.

“There is, however, an extremely diverse range of activity across the ecosystem, with ventures active across areas as diverse as recruitment, mobility, logistics, agri-tech, entertainment, marketing, prop-tech, legal-tech, waste management and auto-tech,” it said.

The report said only 75 – 15.6 per cent of Nigerian tech startups have at least one woman within their founding team which means the country is more diverse in this regard than Egypt and South Africa.

However, the report said this figure is still far too low for a leading ecosystem such as this.

It said out of 481 startups tracked, 217 companies have taken part in either a local or an international accelerator or incubator, with this 45.1 per cent figure better than the 38.6 per cent witnessed in Egypt and far outstripping the 25.7 per cent rate seen in South Africa.

“Nigerian startups employ a combined total of 19,334 people, dwarfing the 11,340 employed by their counterparts in South Africa.

“The average headcount per startup stands at 40. The fintech sector accounts for almost half of Nigerian startup employment, with 8,653 jobs, while between them the fintech, e-commerce, mobility and logistics, and e-health spaces account for 74.9 per cent of all jobs,” it said.

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