Accor puts coworking spaces in its hotels in Africa for the first time

Skift grip

The commercial success of a new franchise deal between Accor’s coworking brand Wojo and Kasada Capital Management hinges on whether digital nomads may be tempted to move away from Europe.

Matthew Parson

Accor’s coworking brand, Wojo, has set its sights on sub-Saharan Africa, after signing an agreement with the hotel investment platform Kasada Capital Management.

It is the first time that Wojo, which the hotel giant co-owns with French property company Bouygues, will enter the continent after expanding into Europe and Latin America over the past two years.

Wojo offers solutions suitable for remote work, including “spots” and “corners” as well as desktop sites. Although its stronghold is in France, it operates co-working spaces in 100 hotels in Brazil, with a presence also in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

This new “master franchise” contract applies to all properties owned by Kasada, which was created in 2018 with the support of the Qatar Investment Authority, as well as Accor.

South direction

The tie-up appears to be focused on former French colonies, with Wojo spaces set to be rolled out to hotels in countries such as Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon – where properties like Ibis Douala, which is in the largest city and economy in the West African country. capital, will welcome Wojo members in the second half of 2022.

The partnership could prove attractive to global digital nomads wishing to travel and work in familiar hotels across West Africa, although the deal also allows Kasada to operate Wojo spaces in branded hotels. other than Accor, as the agreement covers all of Kasada’s hotels in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa.

“There is no exclusivity with the Accor brands since Kasada owns the local master franchise,” an Accor spokesperson said.

Last year, Kasada acquired a portfolio of Sub-Saharan African hotels from AccorInvest, which would have been one of the largest cross-border hotel deals in Africa, involving eight hotels in Ivory Coast, Senegal and South Africa. Cameroon, comprising 1,602 hotel rooms.

Kasada only recently entered South Africa after funds advised by Kasada Capital Management bought the iconic Cape Grace luxury hotel in Cape Town in March this year.

However, the spokesperson said the decision to add Wojo spaces to Kasada’s Safari Hotel portfolio has yet to be confirmed.

Speaking at the Skift Forum Europe in March, Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin said the hotel group would now look to use Wojo to drive growth post-pandemic.

“Thank goodness we’re four years ahead and we already have probably a customer base of 10,000 companies working with Wojo,” he said. “It’s not a high-margin business, but it’s a very good business.”

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