Before they founded Airbnb during the global economic recession of 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were broke and struggling to pay their rent in San Francisco, northern California.
They opted to rent out air mattresses in their apartment to attendees of a conference because all the hotels were booked. They named their service Air Bed and Breakfast.
This accidental experiment in Silicon Valley would later disrupt the global hospitality industry with latest data revealing that it has over 8 million listings across 100,000 cities worldwide.
In what looks like a similar trajectory to the American platform, two Estonian tech-preneurs, Georgi Kurotskin and Gleb Makarov launched Pinpaya in January 2021 looking to create a holistic search engine for various hospitality and entertainment spots in Kenya.
“This solution aims to be an easy and user-friendly guide to users looking for engaging and satisfying entertainment and adventurous activities within any location in Kenya,” Georgi told the StartUp Magazine during an interview.
The creation of Pinpaya was inspired by the expansive growth of the IT industry in Kenya as well as the massive spread of the internet. Globally, the number of internet users has more than tripled in recent years- from 1 billion in 2005 to an estimated 3.5 billion at the end of 2015. More than 45 million Kenyans have mobile phone subscriptions, and over 99 per cent of internet subscribers access the internet via mobile phones and other mobile devices. The duo foresaw this opportunity as one that could easily meet the requirements of an ever-growing digital Kenyan market that includes both consumers and suppliers.
Since its launch, Pinpaya has rapidly grown. The platform is now fast positioning itself as a leader in catering to the pre-determined needs of a technologically empowered consumer audience while also providing visibility, recognition and a platform for suppliers and consumers.
According to Makarov, Organic Search is a huge part of most businesses’ website performance, as well as a critical component of the buyer funnel and ultimately getting users to complete a conversion or engagement. “As marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors. That’s not to say that all search engines don’t contribute to a brand’s visibility — they do — it’s just that Google owns about 75 percent of the overall search market. It’s the clear-cut leader and thus its guidelines are important to follow. But the remaining 25 percent of the market owned by other engines is obviously valuable to brands, too,” he adds.
Google, being the most visited website in the world, also happens to be the most popular email provider in the world (with more than 1 billion users). Not to mention YouTube is the second biggest search engine. We know that a clear majority of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day to get information. Being highly visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines, Pinpaya has implemented SEO tactics on its website and across its digital properties.
By going forth and booking a space in the competitively intertwined world of advertising, entertainment and marketing, Pinpaya is set to be a trailblazer in this sector as it relies on the power that lies not only in the utilization and spread of the internet but also the productivity of social media according to the founders.
Thus, the platform is set to launch its marketplace that will pave way for local small shops, restaurants, safari tours and hospitality firms to access its expansive and growing online users.
“Since listing my restaurant on Pinpaya, customer stream increased by threefold, thus my profitability,” says Elias of Eli’s Buffet and Grill.
With assurance of a seamless user experience for visitors and mobile capability, Shalet, the marketing director says it will appeal to both the elderly and the disabled with a well-planned information architecture and faster load times.
“Our aim is to transform the Kenyan hospitality and entertainment industry by making it easier for consumers to find and access the best options available to them,” says Mr. Georgi.