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Kenyan tech startup, Ongair, opens Hong Kong office

Ongair Co-founders, Trevor Kimenye and Charles Gichuki

Ongair Co-founders, Trevor Kimenye and Charles Gichuki

Tech startup,Ongair, has announced the opening of its Southeast Asia headquarters in Hong Kong. This announcement comes just a few months after the company closed a round of funding that would facilitate their expansion into Hong Kong, with a view to eventually enter the lucrative Chinese market.

Ongair is a service that enables businesses to engage their customers via Instant Messaging.

One of the main reasons for choosing Hong Kong as the regional HQ is the high penetration rate for Instant Messaging in the country. Hong Kong currently has the third largest percentage of WeChat users after China and Malaysia and ranks in the global top 15 countries with the highest number of WhatsApp users. making it an ideal destination for expanding into message commerce.

“Hong Kong is the perfect launch pad for our S.E Asia expansion. Being right next door to China and enjoying efficient, stable and dependable business systems as well as access to globally attractive talent makes it an ideal location for us,” Company CEO, Trevor Kimenye said.

Nearly 10 million businesses use WeChat official accounts to interact with their customers. Ongair’s move into Hong Kong is set to target these businesses and provide them with a reliable, customizable and feature-rich platform to engage their clients via Instant Messaging.

With the key support of strategic investor, Nest, Ongair’s S.E Asia headquarters will be located in California Tower, LanKwai Fong in the central business district of Hong Kong. Nest COO, Lawrence Morgan, says establishing a presence in Hong Kong is a show of committment to grow the business across the region.

“For us, the opportunity for further international expansion was one of the key reasons we invested in Ongair at the end of 2015 and now we are excited to help them build out a network and support the company’s marketing efforts. Given the high level of smartphone adoption in Asia and the popularity of instant messaging, we see tremendous potential for Ongair,” explained Morgan.

Ongair already has several clients in Hong Kong such as online food delivery business FoodPanda and the travel concierge service TravelFlan among others.

TravelFan uses Ongair to provide its clients with a reliable sales channel by giving out instant advice to travellers.

“I am excited to see what bold new stuff we can build with our partners in Hong Kong, working with an awesome agency like Ogilvy HK and large retailers like Bluebell will give us the scale we need to really show how Instant Messaging can add immense value at every touch point of the consumer lifecycle from research, to awareness, to e-commerce, to customer support and beyond,” said Ongair Co-founder, Charles Gichuki.

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The partnership with Ogilvy & Mather and Bluebell group will allow Ongair to fast-track its entry into the market through its partner’s prestigious clients such as Calvin Klein & Gucci.

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