FILE PHOTO: A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington. Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group said on Wednesday it had agreed to invest $40 million in Wakanow.

JOHANNESBURG  - Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group said on Wednesday it had agreed to invest $40 million in Wakanow, an online travel agency focused on West and East Africa.

Founded in 2009 in Nigeria, Wakanow is one of West Africa’s largest full-service online travel companies, providing its customers with a one-stop online booking portal for flights, hotels, holiday packages, and other travel services and ancillaries.

It also operates a network of traditional brick-and-mortar travel centres and has operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

The investment adds to Carlyle’s experience in the online travel sector, where it has invested in companies such as C-trip, one of the major online travel agencies operating across China, Latin American travel and tour operator CVC Brasil and Vasco Turismo, one of the largest travel operations groups in Peru.

"Wakanow has experienced incredible growth since inception, disrupting the travel market and taking market share both online and offline,"  The Carlyle Group managing director Idris Mohammed said.

"We believe that this strong growth trajectory will continue as Wakanow benefits from an expanding middle class across the continent in addition to increasing internet penetration and mobile connectivity, which is driving increased online traffic."

- African News Agency (ANA)