Mark Essien

Mark Essien – Biography of’s Founder

This post is about the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of, Mark Essien.


  • Born in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, on December 18, 1980
  • Software developer, entrepreneur, as well as the CEO and founder of
  • An alumnus of Beuth University of Applied Sciences (BHT), Berlin, Germany

Read on as we take you on an informational journey covering the personal life and career of Mark Essien.

Who is Mark Essien?

Mark Anthony Essien is the Nigerian who founded, one of the pioneers of online hotel booking in Nigeria. He is also a startup investor, entrepreneur, and software developer.

Personal Life (Early/recent)

Mark was born in Nigeria to business-minded parents who owned several schools.

He started his education at Monika Kindergarten & Elementary School, Ikot Ekpene. Afterward, he proceeded to study at the Federal Government College (FGC), Ikot Ekpene.

At age 18, he traveled to Germany to pursue a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering degree (Hardware & Robotics) at Beuth University of Applied Sciences (BHT), Berlin.

Subsequently, he enrolled at Freie University Berlin for a Master’s in Computer Science degree.

Mark Essien married on April 8, 2018, to a developer named Jenni Naiaretti.

Mark Essien 1

Career Journey – Mark Essien

Essien’s first project was Gnumm, a file sharing software later acquired by He then established a language learning startup, which he named Ingolingo.

Mark Essien solely founded in 2013. During this time, he only focused on Calabar State until he felt the urge to expand countrywide. As he needed finance to forge ahead, he met with Jason Njoku, a renowned entrepreneur and founder of iROKO Partners Limited, a leading entertainment technology company.

Jason invested $75,000 as seed funding in As the business expanded, so did its agents, which increased to 300. Most of them used Facebook as a means of contact. Shortly after, he made another investment of $150,000.

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On May 26, 2015, Forbes announced how raised $1.2 million from EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund and the Omidyar Network.

In 2014, Mark Essien was nominated for the Nigeria Future Awards Prize in Technology.

In 2015, Forbes listed him among the 30 Youngest Entrepreneurs in Africa.

Moreover, Mark Essien was the founder of the HNG Internship Program before he stepped down for Seyi Fade to be the new CEO. HNG is an initiative that offers free internship opportunities to Africans interested in software engineering and coding. He started the program with three local developers.

Up to 13,000 applications were received for the latest cohort of the internship program, even though not all of the applicants were accepted. It had 40 mentors.

Read Next: Brian Acton – Biography of Signal and WhatsApp’s Co-founder.

The entrepreneurial journey of Mark Essien is a unique one, and his hotel booking website, has grown to become global. Undoubtedly, Mark’s success stories are inspiring and fascinating.

Feel free to share this post with people aspiring to establish a startup, become an entrepreneur, or looking to know more about Mark Essien and how he started So go make a difference!

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