Germany-based internet incubator and venture capital firm—Rocket Internet—is one of the largest global entities that are interested in Pakistan’s entrepreneurial environment to a great extent. The roll out of Jovago, an online hotel-room booking service, this week in addition to the six Rocket startups already running in the country is a strong testament to this argument.
Jovago, as mentioned above, is an online portal to provide assistance to travelers in booking for local hotel rooms. Pakistan is only the third nation where Jovago has seen an official launch, following the ventures that are running in Nigeria and Kenya already since August last year. The service is launching for Karachi and Lahore for now in partnership with 50 hotels from these cities while the plans to add Islamabad’s hotels are currently underway; said Zoha Sohail—Business Development Manager for Jovago Pakistan. Partner hotels from Lahore and Karachi include country-wide renowned names like Avari, Park Plaza, Regent Plaza, Dream World Resort, Beach Luxury, and Maisonette Luxury, among others.
While the portfolio of participating hotels is currently limited, Jovago aims to not only expand its reach country-wide, but to add foreign hotels for Pakistani visitors as well in the future alongside providing flight ticketing services to its customers, as Zoha Sohail added to the statement:
“The fact that we are the first multinational hotel booking portal to be launching in Pakistan confirms a promising future and that has helped us add hotels easily. Everyday we tap more hotel leads across Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad and keep adding them to our portal.”
Jovago is 7th venture from Rocket International that has seen a roll out in Pakistan. RI’s previous ventures in the country include the localized counterparts of property-dealing portal Lamudi, vehicle marketplace Carmudi, taxi-hailing app-based service EasyTaxi, and online food ordering service, FoodPanda; alongside the online retail store Daraz.pk, and the eBay-like buy-and-sell service Azmalo.pk (also known as Kaymu.pk, which celebrated its first anniversary just last month).
With backing from a giant like Rocket Internet and the ever-growing number of tech-savvy, online and connected individuals in the country, Jovago has a real shot at success, particularly when the social media appearance of its once-popular local competitors like GoGhoom and Chutti.pk has grown stale in the recent past.