I am Mark Essien, Founder of Hotels.ng, ask me anything!



A. Start early, and understand the power of story telling, and also the power of the right numbers.

B. In terms of recruitment, be very strict with achievement metrics, and focus on raw intelligence and dedication above everything else

C. On gaining traction - focus on traction channels and make them work perfectly.

  1. Enough that we hire 12 people to handle them

  2. The guy who booked a top hotel in Lagos, then went there not wearing any shoes and some rugged clothes and told them he had reserved the room and would pay on checkout. When he was not let into the hotel, he came to the office.

  3. Underrated hotel: Cotton Suites


I have not finished it yet. I got caught up in other things. Or may be it’s a test for patience :ok_woman:


We made Millions!


The right guy in the right market with the right motivation - of course I’d invest.


Make some money so you can make your product. Build it yourself. Then get traction! Do this BEFORE looking for investment. If the product does not work for that, find something else for now.


Yes commission, and to the below - both.


Yes, in a startup you will always have people coming and going. We are not a multi-national - it’s a place where you do a lot and learn a lot. If the company grows, you grow with it. We are hiring a lot - I think the last person I hired was someone in finance. Yes, there are job openings, but it depends on the concrete skills or abilities of the new graduate.


We do our marketing in-house. Luckily, we have a team of talented people and don’t need to outsource it to a marketing agency.



Starting a startup is hard. Starting a startup with no cash is very hard. I had been working for a while as a software developer, so I had some money in the bank when I started. It finished at some point though, but having money in the bank is required.

I don’t beliueve in doing two things at once time. I would have decided the businesses was a failure if after 3 months I had less than 50 customers. Market is key. Traction is key.


Does Mustapha Abiola work for you?


How did you find that out? We are not yet revealing our new all-star executive team.


On Twitter you were talking to each other about it but I thought it was a joke, does he really work for you? What does he do if he does?


No comment :speak_no_evil:


Hey Mark,
Congrats with your new funding round. This is only the starting point.

  1. Do you still code?
  2. What are the keys/secret to entrepreneurial success?


What languages do you know and how long have you been coding?


What is one thing you’d tell yourself in 2012 if you could go back in time?


Can you take pics of the new office space please mark


Thanks Mark for your response.

  1. Do you mind disclosing how many percent commission you charge the hotels?
  2. How do you deal with your client staying beyond the number of days they booked - How do you get notified to get your commission if they pay the hotel directly?


Greetings Mark…
If you had 5 minutes of the world’s attention, what story will you tell?

What advice would you give a bookseller with a consistent but small clientele base in a world where people don’t just read but also with many kinds of e-readers in the market?