Are you longing for an adventure, an experience to take you straight to cloud 9 but don’t know where to find it? Cloud9xp is a company that was formed to help anyone find the leisure experience suited to them. Crossover Kenya had a Q&A session with co-founder Mutethia Mbaabu to find out more about the company.
Crossover Kenya: How would you describe Cloud9xp?
Mutethia Mbaabu: Cloud9xp is an online marketplace and booking service for leisure experiences. We highlight top leisure experiences for you to partake from wherever you are in Africa, across different categories and styles – including but not limited to; Adventure & Outdoors, Water Sports, Foodie, Festivals & Concerts, Indoor Fun, Extreme Sports, Driving, Flying, Shooting, Corporate, Getaways, Luxury, Budget and Birthday experiences. If you’re on a quest for excitement, one of the Cloud9 experiences should be at the top of your list.
Crossover Kenya: How did the idea to start the company come about?
Mutethia Mbaabu: Cloud9xp was launched in 2016, when college friends, Collins Mesongo, Emmanuel Miriti and I discovered a gap in the leisure industry. We love fun, but would always feel like we had exhausted our adventure options, until we found the next undiscovered leisure destination. The problem we found was the lack of a way to find these hidden gems. We launched Cloud9xp with the aim of solving this problem, by creating a comprehensive listing of experience providers, making it easy for leisure seekers to find and book their next experience.
Crossover Kenya: What challenges did you face in the initial stages?
Mutethia Mbaabu: We are doing something that has never been done before in Africa, or rather we are changing the way people access leisure experiences. Due to this, the main challenge has been in educating both partners and customers about the whole world of possibilities that can come about by levering on the power of technology to find and book experiences. Money follows good ideas that are well executed.
Crossover Kenya: How does it work?
Mutethia Mbaabu: We partner with merchants who offer these experiences, for example, sky diving in Diani, or camping in Naivasha. We list them on our site, complete with pricing, terms and conditions. When leisure seekers come to our site, they make a booking, which is paid to us, and then receive an experience voucher via email and sms. They then go ahead to redeem the experience with the merchant. To ensure quality control, we vet all our service providers before listing them.
Crossover Kenya: Which are the top 3 experiences Kenyans buy
Mutethia Mbaabu: Getaways are very common especially during public holidays and holiday season. Day trips such as hiking, and to do fun activities such as white water rafting, zip lining, high ropes and quad biking also do very well. Adrenaline enthusiasts enjoy more extreme activities such as rock climbing, paintball, sky diving and bungee jumping.
Crossover Kenya: Do you have plans to set up your own adventure park
Mutethia Mbaabu: I would love to. We have always seen ourselves as the leader in the African leisure scene, and intend to keep it that way. We will definitely consider venturing into this space when the right time comes.
Crossover Kenya: Advice to budding entrepreneurs
Mutethia Mbaabu: Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of (smart) work, a lot of vision and a lot of perseverance. I believe that the only way to be satisfied in your life as an entrepreneur is to take it as an opportunity for learning and self-development, and to work on a venture that you truly believe in.