This Mozambican startup is plotting an African data revolution

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Seedstars Maputo winner WenaData may only be active in Mozambique for now, but the startup has big plans for taking its innovative research techniques across the continent.

Launched last year, WenaData has developed a series of software tools – web-based, mobile-based and offline – for gathering statistical data, and works with government, private sector companies and other institutions to help them collect opinions and help make better strategic decisions.

“We can be hired to conduct surveys, market research, social studies, advertising or even for real-time polls,” Nuno Soares, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of WenaData, told Disrupt Africa.

Organisations that conduct surveys with WenaData gain access to the startup’s pool of users, who participate in polls, surveys or studies via their mobile phone after receiving notifications. In order to encourage participation, all actions with WenaData are worth points, which may later be converted into rewards or donated to causes. Clients can target their surveys at particular types of users.

“Our platform operates on several fronts in the market, with our clients ranging from government to NGOs, banks, insurance companies, business sector, retail and wholesale, companies in the area of tourism, food, health, private clients, among others,” Soares said.

WenaData, which was named Seedstars Maputo winner this week and will now head to the global final in Switzerland next year, was formed to address the difficulties faced in obtaining real qualitative and quantitative statistical data in Africa.

“The process of obtaining data is very time-consuming and bureaucratic, and has a high cost,” Soares said. “We are always analysing the market to understand whether there is direct or indirect competition to our platform. The Mozambican market lacks services similar to ours.”

That said, the startup, which has been bootstrapped up until this point, has ambitions outside of Mozambique having been happy with initial uptake at home.

“It has been extremely gratifying to know that we have created something useful that can contribute to the development of our country and a more informed, inclusive and knowledgeable society,” said Soares.

“We believe that with due support WenaData could become an interesting tool on a worldwide scale.”

He said the startup had already been approached by companies from South Africa, Portugal, Angola and Cape Verde seeking partnerships to replicate WenaData’s model, and that it was studying the best options. Ensuring continued success at home will make moving abroad easier, however.

“WenaData excels at offering the Mozambican business sector a broad and innovative range of solutions to promote and enhance its activity,” Soares said.

“From the time we opened our business we have been hired to carry out the most varied studies, such as customer satisfaction analysis of a bank, or an internal study for a company that wanted to know if employees would comply with all standards and procedures. We are very pleased with the revenues and results we have achieved to date, and believe we are on the right track.”

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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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