Ghana’s telco discovery app Promolante plots monetisation after strong uptake

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Ghanaian telco promotions and services discovery app Promolante is planning its monetisation having seen a strong uptake of its services since it launched in June 2014.

Available on Android, the Promolante app launched in March of last year, and has hit 200,000 users with monthly active users of over 87,000.

The startup helps telco subscribers in Ghana save money on their calls and data through the discovery of promotions and services, collating and categorising all running offers from the five telecoms companies in Ghana and showing them through the app.

Uptake has been impressive, assisted by a partnership with Samsung that sees the app pre-installed on Samsung smartphones, and the startup’s acceptance into FBStart, Facebook’s flagship program to enable mobile startups to succeed.

It is now planning to monetise having been focused upon user acquisition until now.

“We just built the systems that will help us monetise into the app. In the next couple of weeks, we should be ready to start offering advertisement. We’ve actually successfully run our test advert,” co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Abdul-Rahim Sulemana told Disrupt Africa.

“Over the next few months, we’ll be adding some cool new features and looking to expand into Nigeria and some other African countries. We believe it’s time to bring all that we’ve learnt into a better global Promolante – a telco app you can use wherever you’re in Africa.”

The startup was launched as a side project, but has grown into a business over time due to what Sulemana sees as the very real challenge it is addressing.

“Due to competition in the telco industry in Ghana, telcos are offering very cool promos and services in order to maintain or grow market share,” he said. “We realised that these promos were becoming too many for subscribers to keep track of, even for promos on the subscriber’s main network. For people with more than one SIM, it’s more challenging,” he said.

“At the same time, many subscribers, especially students, rely on these offers in order to make long calls or browse for longer hours. So we decided to make it easy to discover these offers across any telco.”

Bootstrapped thus far, Promolante is looking at raising funds but has seen significant traction even without investment. The Samsung partnership, which came about after Promolante was a runner-up at the Samsung Developer Challenge, has helped, but Sulemana said the team is keen to grow usage further.

“At the moment, an app user spends about one minute on the app, which is OK for a discovery app like ours. But we’re working on new features to increase the session length,” he said.

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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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