[Startup Interview] Oladunmade Otitoola, Founder, RentYourHall, Nigeria
Oladunmade Otitoola, an entrepreneur and beneficiary of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program in 2016, is founder of RentYourHall, Nigeria. Africa Business Communities poses him some questions on development of the startup company.
Tell us a bit about RentYourHall.
RentYourHall is an online platform that connects event space owners/managers to prospective customers, enabling the customers to be able to easily find and book an event space online within a short timeframe. We save the customers the stress of having to make numerous phone calls and physical visits before they can settle on an event space to use for their upcoming event. We also put before them a plethora of choices and in this wise get them the best rental rates for event spaces.
On the other hand, we are helping the event space owners/managers gain access to more customers at minimal cost. We also help event planners and event vendors gain higher visibility by advertising them in strategic spaces on our website, putting them in the eyes of customers who usually would need their services very soon.
Our goal is to consistently deliver to both ends (owners/managers and customers) a quick and delightfully convenient experience when it comes to event space bookings.
RentYourHall is located in Lagos, Nigeria, and anywhere in the world on our website.
How is RentYourHall funded?
RentYourHall has been funded on three levels: We have so far obtained funding by bootstrapping, Family and friends investments and the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program in 2016, through which we received a seed capital of $5,000. We are currently in talks to explore early stage funding for our expansion plans having validated the market existence and need.
What are your company’s Unique Selling Points?
As arguably Africa’s first automated booking platform for event spaces, that tends to stand us out from the online crowd. We deliver value through 3 key areas to the people looking to book an event space. These areas are the speed in the time taken to find and book an event space, offering multiple choices that can be sifted through easily, and providing the best rental rates for them.
On the supplier end (event space owners/managers), we provide online visibility and access to customers at a low cost. We also provide them with an improved booking system for their operations.
Furthermore, we pay close attention to our social media presence, using it to create a more immersive and fun-filled experience for users in their interactions with our brand.
Who are your clients?
Being a multisided platform, we have a large range of clients. On the side looking to book an event space, we cater to just about anyone looking to book an event space for events like weddings, private parties, conferences, dinners, trainings and the likes. This stretches through individuals to corporate entities.
On the other end, anyone who has an event space and looking to get more people using it. This even includes you who owns a house and would like people to pay to have house parties in it! However, our core targets are built-for-purpose event venues and conference/training rooms.
Event plannners and vendors (such as photographers, caterers, make-up artists, fashion designers, MCs and the likes) also get to be able to enjoy our targeted advertising services that puts them directly in front of people who are already at an advanced stage of the buying cycle.
What are the ambitions of RentYourHall?
Our mid to long-term strategic goal is be a one-stop source through which you can plan and execute an event. We plan to achieve this by listing various event vendors asides event venues, such that nothing stops an event host from pulling off the perfect event, right from our web platform. We also will provide automated planning tools that help make this feasible. We look to attain this goal within the next 5 years from now.
We are currently focused on delivering our service at the national level at consistently high standards. We expect to have this covered within the next 3 to 5 years and can then spread out to select strategic countries in Africa where we identify a need for our services.
Even further, we envision growing beyond Africa and into Europe, Asia and the rest of the world, if we can attract the right degree of investment and relevant networks. Which is why we are more than happy to be an active member of the Africa Business Communities.
What is the latest news from RentYourHall?
RentYourHall has been chosen as one of the businesses to be at SpeedUp Africa 2017.
From now till September 30th 2017, we are giving to event planners and vendors, discounts of up to 50% on the standard pricing for advert placements on our website. You can send us an email for further details on this.
We will be running a promotional activity specifically for event planners sometime between August and September 2017, so be on the look out.
Who should contact your company, and why?
Anyone (individuals and corporates) looking to book an event space for any events.
Anyone who has an event space and is looking to get more people using it and thus increase rental income revenue levels.
Event plannners and vendors (such as photographers, caterers, make-up artists, fashion designers, MCs and the likes) looking out for targeted advertising services to bring them closer to their customers.
We deliver value to these categories of people through our focus on speed and convenience in making bookings for event spaces, cost reduction, wide customer reach and pleasant customer experience.
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with startup businesses in Africa.
Are you a startup in Africa and interested in an interview? Great! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org