TalkingBookz audiobook startup launches in Lagos

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Lagos-based startup TalkingBookz launched its downloadable audiobooks service at last week’s Mobile West Africa event in Nigeria, with the official launch coinciding with World Book Day.

TalkingBookz describes itself as Nigeria’s first major audiobook online store and publisher, offering users unlimited downloads of more than 3,000 audiobooks, including many international bestsellers.

Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kolapo Ogungbile said the startup’s vision is to be the number one publisher and retailer of African authored audiobooks globally.

“Think iTunes for African classics like “Things Fall Apart”, offering indigenous content to Africa and the rest of the world,” he said.

“The typical TalkingBookz user is one who travels a lot or spends a lot of time commuting. Other uses revolve around lifestyle activities such as exercising, relaxing, cooking, cleaning, and individuals whose jobs involve repetitive manual tasks.”

The TalkingBookz team spent the last year building its business and online platform with support from Passion Incubator in Lagos.

Ogungbile said TalkingBookz currently has more than 10 categories of books, ranging from Religion, Fiction, Memoirs/Biographies, Business, Management, Self-help, Children’s Literature, and Health and Wellness.

“TalkingBookz seeks to disrupt the traditional book publishing market and redefine how Africans consume books,” said Aransiola Damilola, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of TalkingBookz.

The startup was last month among the first 1,000 startups selected to take part in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a US$100 million initiative to discover and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next ten years.

Currently, new TalkingBookz customers can purchase any audiobook of their choice at a 10 per cent discount with the code “signupbonus”.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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