Newly-formed startup Wisinomad is bringing together remote working professionals and digital nomads for co-working and co-living experiences in Africa, aimed at giving them the chance to dive into the African innovation ecosystem.
Wisinomad was formed in September by an international team from Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Peru and Botswana, which had previously worked together on StartupBus Africa – which later became AMPION.
They have now teamed up again to form Wisinomad, which aims to give remote working professionals and digital nomads the chance to experience the growth of the African tech space.
“There is no doubt that Africa is experiencing big economic growth, hence the huge flow of venture capital financing to African startups. We want to have first hand experience with what is taking place on the continent, being a group of startup founders and VCs ourselves,” Zimbabwean co-founder Francis Chiwunda told Disrupt Africa.
The first three-month Wisinomad tour begins in Nairobi on April 2, before proceeding to Botswana in May and Rwanda in June.
“People live together in one house, with a shared co-working area in the house. They sometimes cook together and spend their free time exploring together,” Chiwunda said.
“We give our nomads a full dive into the African innovation ecosystem. We also do local technology company visits to hear their stories and how they have been doing it. We have partnered with tech hubs where we hold dedicated talk sessions. At these tech hubs, we invite local innovators and industry influencers for fireside sessions. Sometimes nomads lead the talks and sometimes local people lead talks depending on topic and main interests.”
The Wisinomad programme runs a carefully planned itinerary, with the aim being to give a very informative experience to nomads.
“We offer our group an opportunity to experience life on the other side while they continue doing their daily work,” said Chiwunda.
Remote-working travel companies are quite common these days, but very few focus on Africa. Wisinomad wants to fill that gap.
“Being digital nomads ourselves, and having gone for such trips before in Europe and South America, we spotted that gap for the African market,” said Chiwunda.
Wisinomad is founder-funded thus far, with no immediate plans to raise investment. Chiwunda said its first edition has been filled up primarily by people within the team’s networks.
“We have strong networks running incubators in San Francisco as well as in Berlin, and also our contacts from former digital nomad experiences. We’ve leveraged on those relationships on first round sign-ups, and it’s been incredible,” he said.
The company is banking on the fact most people outside of the continent “don’t have a clue about Africa”.
“Our client base stretches from a curious 24-year-old who has a flexible job to senior corporate researchers who want to have a first hand experience on African markets or a startup CEO wanting to see the world,” Chiwunda said. “And of course we take weekends off to do a nice safari experience!”