Nairobi, Kenya, June 06, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- SleepOut.com today announced that it has hired software engineer and experienced technology manager Paul Schwarz as its new Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Schwarz will begin his work at SleepOut's Nairobi headquarters in June. As CTO, Schwarz will be responsible for developing and executing SleepOut's tech strategy and leading its development team. This includes ensuring that the SleepOut booking software operates smoothly as the online accommodation service continues to expand to new markets across Africa and the Middle East.
“Paul has the perfect mix of passion, commitment and managerial experience, and his track record in the hospitality industry is particularly important to SleepOut," said Johann Jenson, CEO and co-founder. "In order to continue successfully serving hundreds of thousands of travellers and hosts coming from hundreds of countries, SleepOut depends on a unique SMS-driven booking process complemented by strong user-generated content and search engine optimization. We're counting on Paul to add scalability and functionality to the existing product," Jenson added.
Most recently, Schwarz developed aviation software for the charter industry and was Managing Director at Media Software Systems, a software development company based in Mombasa, Kenya. Prior to that, Schwarz studied as a software engineer in Australia and California.
"As a long-time travel tech enthusiast, I'm thrilled by the opportunity to directly promote Africa and the Middle East as a tourist destination. I'm joining a great team, both at headquarters and in other countries where the SleepOut platform assists thousands of travellers and hosts. I can't wait to get started," said Schwarz.
Schwarz will lead the launch of SleepOut 2.0, a new platform which aims to reach 10 countries across Africa and the Middle East by late 2013.
"The software is built with scalability, world-class design and clean code at its core. The new platform will offer a vastly improved user experience including the ability to post upcoming trips to a traveller's bulletin board. Hosts are then able to submit their offers directly to travellers visiting their area," said Schwarz.
The appointment of the new CTO comes days after the company recently announced a US$200,000 round of seed funding led by Amsterdam-based Africa Media Ventures Fund (AMVF).
Lot Carlier, Managing Partner at AMVF remarked, "We are truly excited to embark on this venture. As internet penetration and e-commerce increases on the continent, a new consumer class is emerging and SleepOut is simply in the right place at the right time. Together with a solid expansion strategy and a seasoned team with vast regional networks we are confident that SleepOut will provide a best-in-class service across these expanding markets."
SleepOut is a leading social accommodation marketplace which uses a unique SMS-driven booking process to make online accommodation bookings in off-the-grid destinations easier. Launched in June 2012, SleepOut provides a secure platform for accommodation hosts (hotels, property owners and agents) in Africa to list their unique spaces for rent.
Find news and updates from SleepOut on their Blog: blog.sleepout.com, Magazine: sleepout.com/nomad, Twitter: twitter.com/sleepoutcom or Facebook: facebook.com/sleepoutcom.
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