The future of start-up businesses in East Africa

Tubayo, a local start-up, has for the last four years been creating exciting travel experiences and homes for local and international tourists at an affordable rating.

Always on the hunt for the next big thing, Brian Namanya launched Tubayo to bridge the gap in the domestic tourism sector.

He is leading the next wave of ambitious young men and women working so hard to create the world’s travel company. He envisions that tourism will be everyone’s business.

We have built a platform to empower emerging African tourism entrepreneurs for global business.

Airbnb has become a disrupter not just in real estate but that tourism as well, in what way has Airbnb become a destructor since 2008?

Back then in tourism generally, if you needed to have a tourism business you needed capital, you needed to have trucks or you need enough money to set up lodges.

Yes, but today, you need your extra house you know a furnished house to start an accommodation business and to do an experience you need just a passion with just a phone you set up a profile and you started a travel business.

2008 was the introduction of Airbnb. What advancements have you seen in this particular business?

In this particular business that one there maybe 10 years 12 years ago, there’s been a trend where locals have travelled more.

In Uganda before that, travel was just a luxury and the only time we travelled as locals were during school primary.

But locals weren’t able to afford this just because of the cost of production involved. The trend today is the locals are now participating in travel pretty much and locals I mean Africans

When did you start Tubayo and why?

I didn’t know about Airbnb. I was on a trip to Nairobi with my mother, we had come for the east African convention and then we’re staying at the hotel so she would go for the meetings. I used to google the things to do around the city, and they were just safaris but I didn’t take it seriously so I would wait on her and then go back to Uganda.

So out of this, I started thinking about what business I could do out of it. I made a quick research on the internet to find the richest people in the world, and they were doing internet business and technology. So that’s how I got excited about it. There is this saying that “you do what the five people are doing and you’re going to be the sixth person,” and that’s when I decide on the internet and with the use of my economics expertise.

Tubayo offers guests the chance to discover amazing places, with the promise that they can feel at home anywhere in Africa.

The app offers unique experiences to travellers through excursions offered by passionate locals who give visitors insight into their community, or places travellers would not be able to find on their own.

Tubayo has supported local businesses from its recognition of the role that the business sector plays in the development and sustainability of the Tourism and Hospitality industry. Guests and travellers have access to almost 500 types of accommodation and 300 experiences across the country. Over the past few years, Tubayo has closed sales with an approximately 5000 guests.

The number of startups raising funds in Kenya increased to 59 in 2020. This represented a growth of approximately 30 percent in comparison to 2019 when the country registered 45 funded startups.

In terms of value, a total of Ksh.21.6 billion were raised by startups in Kenya as of 2020.

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