[Interview] Thomas Mueller, Founder, Rainmaker Digital, Namibia
Thomas Mueller is a German entrepreneur living in Namibia, founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital.
Could you introduce your company to us?
Rainmaker Digital accelerates and improves the occupancy, revenue, reputation and earnings of hospitality and tourism providers in itinerary based destinations such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc.
Based on our 50+ years experience in the Hospitality industry in Africa, the Middle East, Indian Ocean as well as Europe and the USA as well as 35+ years of experience in the IT followed by 15+ years in the digital marketing world, rainmaker digital has created a holistic methodology, the “5 Stages of Success” as well as the “VISTA Destination Network”, an integrated platform and ECO-System for itinerary based Destinations, providing competitive advantages to the local In-Destination businesses.
Where is Rainmaker located?
Rainmaker is headquartered in Windhoek Namibia. However, we just opened a customer success office in Cape Town, South Africa and soon opening another one in Europe. We provide our customers with world class digital technologies, strategic and holistic consulting, and digital marketing services forged from the African spirit, German engineering and American technology.
How is the company funded?
Rainmaker from the beginning was bootstrapped and so far we have been entirely funded through my personal investment and through our day to day cash flow which was positive from the 2nd quarter all the way through. However, a faster growth and new opportunities might provide opportunities for alternative funding in the future.
What are Rainmaker’s Unique Selling Points?
Many companies in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector only provide some sort of Do-It-Your-Self Software or Cloud based Applications. Also, most offerings are thought as Silos’s. There is one that does a WebSite, another one that does Social Media, the next one provides Search Engine Optimization and another one the Property Management System followed by another 3rd party doing Channel Management. This might work for large Hotel chains with the respective resources in house. However, the majority of the properties in our market are small, independent and often owner managed Guesthouses, Lodges, Guest Farms or small Hotels with like 5-20 Rooms. They neither have the resources and the skills to manage all the above mentioned professions at once, while at the same time run, manage and maintain their property and host their guests. Therefore, none or very few of the above mentioned and needed activities are aligned and put into a holistic approach to actually provide a decent return of investment. Often, those properties spend a lot of money to different companies and often see little return.
The 5 Stages of Success in comparison is a comprehensive managed service including all and everything needed in a holistic, aligned and seamlessly integrated approach. With this, we usually improve occupancy by 20-40%, revenue by 40-60% and earnings by 70-120% and at the same time improve the overall reputation.
What are the ambitions of Rainmaker?
We have started our venture in Namibia. This is a great market to start such a business since in Namibia are only some 2000 properties and some 400 tour operators as well as some 50 car rental providers and 120 activity providers. Those are all local In-Destination businesses that we aim to enable to accelerate and improve their business by using the 5 Stages of Success and connect to the VISTA Destination Network.
At the same time we have build a great Proof of Concept and Market Acceptance, growing some 280% Year over Year from 2016 to 2017 and now we are ready to grow into other destinations. We have just started our branch office in Cape Town and will soon open one in Europe as well. We are looking to provide the same assistance and business enablement in other Itinerary Destinations such as Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania for example.
What is the latest news from Rainmaker?
With our VISTA Destination Network we already have developed many integrations to Hotel Management Systems, Channels and many other Services of relevance. We are currently busy with concepts to use Machine Learning, Conversational Search and the Blockchain Technology. This new technology will assist our customers to gain even better returns and improve their business results further.
Who should contact Rainmaker, and why?
Our Services are perfect for all small and medium sized independent Hotels, Lodges, B&Bs, Guesthouses and Guest-Farms in need for a perfectly working digital presence converting more “lookers” into “bookers” on the one end, and small and medium sized local Tour Operators providing Itineraries.
For the hospitality businesses we usually improve occupancy by 20-40%, revenue by 40-60% and earnings by 70-120% and at the same time improve the overall reputation. For the Tour operators we usually improve the conversion to enquiries by 20-40%.
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